News by Region

UK: All inpatients with learning disability or autism to be given case reviews

Every inpatient with a learning disability or autism in a mental health hospital will have their case reviewed over the next 12 months.

All 2,250 patients with learning disabilities and autism who are inpatients in a mental health hospital will have their care reviewed over the next 12 months, the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has announced today.

Parenting a child on the autism spectrum delivers moments of heartbreak that are not easy to negotiate

Claire Spence

My son's best friend is his six-year-old sister.

It is not because he doesn't want friends: Fynn loves being around people.

But he is very aware that he is different, and to others different can be awkward and best avoided.

Fynn is nine and quite the comedian. He loves life and wears his heart on his sleeve. But he notices the confused, judgemental looks when he speaks and his words get muddled. He sees other kids lose interest when he responds to them by squealing and running around flapping his arms.

Disability royal commission: girl with Asperger's hid in garbage bin to avoid bullying

First day of hearings told multiple instances of violence led to anxiety that affected 10-year-old’s walking and speech

A 10-year-old girl who lives with Asperger syndrome was hit over the head, pushed from a pier and began hiding in a garbage bin to avoid further bullying, the disability royal commission has been told.

congratulating the Castledines on their win against the NDIS at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

On Wednesday 16 October 2019, Jake Castledine, and his mother, Janice Castledine, received the news that they won their three-year-long battle with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Jake, who is in his late twenties and has multiple disabilities including intellectual disability and autism, needs funded support 24/7. He didn’t have enough funding in his package before the NDIS, and despite promises from both the state government and the NDIA that he would finally get what he needed, his first NDIS plan left him worse off. VALID’s advocacy team assisted with organising a plan review, but again, the NDIS denied almost all the supports Jake required. So, Jake’s family asked for legal help from Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service and Legal Aid Victoria to have his case heard at the AAT.

WA: One-of-a-kind autism service offers new hope to families

Western Australian babies and children with autism and developmental delay will be able to access world-first therapies and interventions backed by the latest research, thanks to a unique clinical service developed by the Telethon Kids Institute.

CliniKids, the first clinic of its kind in Australia and the first stand-alone clinical service to be offered by Telethon Kids, was officially launched today by Federal Health Minister, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP.

Excluded and refused enrolment: report shows illegal practices against students with disabilities in Australian schools

Kathy Cologon, Macquarie University

More than 12% of students with disability are being refused school enrolment, and over 40% are being excluded from school events and activities.

These are some of the findings from a survey published today by the national organisation Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA). More than 500 young people with disability, and families of students with disability, shared their experiences with the education system over the past year.

The system of both mainstream and segregated schooling is often claimed to be a result of parent choice. But families in the survey said students were denied enrolment for reasons including schools advising they lack the necessary resources.

Education survey finds 12pc of children with a disability kept from class by school 'gate keeping'

Norman Hermant

Felix Tarlinton did not have a good experience at school.

"I'm not very good with big crowds," the nine-year old, who lives with autism, told the ABC.

"[My teacher] would send me to this small little corner that I absolutely hated."

Off a cliff, without a parachute: Parents left in the cold when it comes to kids with autism

First-line health professionals must vastly improve their communication and engagement with parents if they are to help address the growing prevalence of autism among children, say researchers from the University of South Australia.

Undertaking a meta-synthesis of 22 international studies, researchers consolidated the voices of 1178 parents advocating for their children with autism, finding that parents feel ignored and dismissed by medical practitioners as they navigate initial concerns for their child, further investigations, and finally, a formal diagnosis of autism.

Researchers say that medical practitioners need to adopt a family-focused approach to ensure that parents’ concerns, perspectives and observations are taken seriously so that their child has appropriate and timely access to early intervention services.

My Daughter and I Were Diagnosed With Autism on the Same Day

mother and daughter wearing summer clothes on a garden path

Autistic moms can face judgment while struggling with their own diagnosis and advocating for their children.

By Jen Malia

“You convinced yourself that you and our daughter have autism,” my husband yelled. “You did all this research and told the doctor what he needed to hear to diagnose you!”

“No, it wasn’t like that,” I said. “You know about all the testing we went through.”

“I can’t believe you brought her into this,” he said. “You’re like those mothers who make up medical problems about their kids. Why can’t you just let her be a kid?”

Hunter's first autism-specific high school offers hope to students and their families

Penelope Green

LARA Cheney was studying early childhood in the late '90s in Newcastle when one of her casual jobs made an impact.

"I was working at Newcastle Temporary Care, at a respite home, supporting children attend social clubs and in their homes, and for a while I had a boy who was about seven stay at my house on a Tuesday night," she recalls.

500 children forfeited to state in NDIS standoff

New figures reveal the human toll of a five-year NDIS funding fight, with hundreds of families pushed to relinquish their children into state care.

By Rick Morton.

For the past five years, the National Disability Insurance Agency has squabbled with state governments over who pays to support children with a profound disability. In that time, hundreds of families have been pushed to the brink. The care they were promised never came.

Ask An Expert: The Balancing Act of Supported Decision Making

What’s the deal with decision making?

Such a great question! The right to make your own decisions. It doesn’t get more fundamental than that when considering what makes us human. Questioning a person’s capacity to make decisions is one of the gravest insults one can make, yet in disability it can be thought of like an item on a grocery list. The assumption that people with disability have the right to make their own decisions, and should be given every support to do so, is a transgressive idea in our society. And as with any rights based social change, implementation can get a little tricky.

Submission/comment to Productivity Commission Mental Health inquiry

Subject: re: Your Mental Health inquiry submission [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2019 09:44:39 +1100 (AEDT)
From: mental.health@pc.gov.au
To: convenor@a4.org.au

Thank you Mr Buckley! We have received your submission.

For any other queries, please email mental.health@pc.gov.au

Below is a record of the information you sent us:

Talking About Autism

Why language matters.

Erin Bulluss, Ph.D., and Abby Witts

Language is a powerful tool; it can be used to describe the plain, the profound, and the profane. With language, we make choices not only about what we say, but how we say it. Surely we can all recall a time when we were hurt or buoyed by something said to or about us, not because of the statement itself but, rather, how it was framed.

UN Report on Australia and the CPRD omits autism

The UN Committee reviewing Australia's implementation and compliance of the CRPD published its Concluding Observations - see https://www.afdo.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/UN-Outcomes-Report-on-Australia.pdf

Their reports fails to mention autistic Australians. Autistic Australians are the biggest distinct primary disability type in the NDIS and the NDIS is the dominant mechanism for tackling CRPD issues.

After 12 months, NDIS commission still hasn't answered family's questions about son's bruises

Sam kisses his mother, Cheryl, on the cheek.

In October 2018, the family of a severely disabled man became so concerned about bruises he was suffering while living in full-time care that they asked for them to be investigated.

Key points:

  • The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is yet to return a finding regarding injuries suffered by a full-time care client in NSW
  • Sam Donaldson's mother has been waiting a year to find out what happened to her non-verbal son and has requested a new care provider
  • Disability advocates say they are "disturbed" by a "lack of accountability" in tracking the investigation, and that lengthy delays are common

Against neurodiversity

Moheb Costandi is a molecular and developmental neurobiologist, author and freelance science writer. He writes the blog Neurophilosophy, and his latest book is Neuroplasticity (2016). He lives in London.

I couldn’t help feeling a little apprehensive before my meeting with Thomas Clements. The British 30-year-old has what used to be called Asperger’s Syndrome, and describes himself as ‘slightly autistic’. Until our meeting in London, I’d had few close encounters with autistic people, so I wondered how to act, and how he might respond to my actions. Would he make eye contact with me? Should I try to shake his hand?

Despite my apprehension, the meeting went well. Clements gets extremely confused in a group of people, and avoids those kinds of situations, but has no problem with one-on-one interactions. We met in the West End, had chicken katsu curry for lunch, and then walked into nearby Chinatown, his favourite part of town.

Minister defends $4.6b NDIS underspend

Rebecca Gredley

Participants in the national disability insurance scheme will keep receiving enough support despite its $4.6 billion underspend, the minister responsible insists.

The Morrison government revealed on Thursday the budget was almost out of deficit, thanks to less money going to the NDIS.

NDIS Minister Stuart Robert has defended the underspend, saying no participant had received less money as a result.

He said 100,000 participants "couldn't be found" or were counted twice, suggesting less money was now needed for the scheme.

Autism/ASD submissions on planning to NDIS Parliamentary Joint Committee

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is inquiring into the the NDIS's planning process.

A number of autism/ASD-related organisations, including A4, made submissions to the inquiry. The Committee published submissions here. The submissions by autism groups are:

Pages

Subscribe to News by Region