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UK: Too many children with autism are let down by schools and end up in prison

For many young people, school can be a difficult place. And for some, it can be just about impossible. Negative experiences in school can have harmful long-term effects on pupils with autism spectrum conditions.

Official figures show that children, are increasingly being suspended or expelled from school because of “behavioural problems” – many of which include children on the autism spectrum. Some regions in the UK have experienced a 100% increase in these types of exclusions since 2011.

High levels of distress and depression in young people on autism spectrum

    About one in every 150 Australian children will be affected by autism [editorial: the diagnosis rate for Australian children was more than 1 in 40 in 2018], with boys more likely to have it than girls.

    It's what's called a spectrum disorder, where the symptoms depend on where you sit on the spectrum.

    And while we know some things about managing and supporting children with autism spectrum disorder, a lot less is known about how it can affect the mental health of those who have it.

    Female psychologist claims she was ‘groomed’ by autistic teen patient

    Kay Dibben

    A FEMALE psychologist who was treating an autistic sexual abuse victim ending up having a sexual relationship with him.

    Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal has heard that the psychologist, then in her early 30s, knew the 18-year-old, who had a mental age of a 13 or 14-year-old, thought she looked like his former special needs teacher who had had sex with him.

    Despite the teenager developing an inappropriate personal interest in her, the psychologist did not refer him to another psychologist.

    Perth father fined for whipping autistic son with coathanger

    Shannon Hampton

    A father who whipped his “severely autistic” son over the legs with a coathanger has been fined $1200 by a magistrate who said to use a weapon on his child involved “an appalling lack of judgement”.

    Szu Sheng Lo, 41, admitted assaulting the 12-year-old after he had a “meltdown” at their in Canning Vale home in December.

    The Armadale Magistrate’s Court was today told Lo hit his son on the back of his legs after he “took exception” to his instructions to change his shirt after a bike ride and before he went to church with his care workers.

    Adelaide man who stabbed autistic friend, decapitated puppy sentenced to five years’ jail

    Kathryn Bermingham

    An Adelaide man who stabbed his autistic friend and decapitated a puppy during a “sadistic” crime spree has been jailed for at least three years.

    James Alexander Rech, 20, was sentenced in the District Court on Friday for charges including assaulting police, aggravated assault and ill treatment of an animal on separate occasions in 2017 and 2018.

    In sentencing, Judge Sophie David said Rech had repeatedly stabbed his housemate’s eight-month-old American staffordshire terrier in retaliation for an unpaid debt.

    Autism support scaled back as NDIS tries to rein in blowout

    Rick Morton

    The average NDIS support package for children with developmental delays is now less than half what was budgeted and autistic children are also receiving less than expected, after a cost-cutting drive targeting three conditions.

    Autism and developmental ­delays have consistently been ­listed by the agency in charge of the $22 billion scheme as being among the biggest “cost pressures” over the past few years.

    Autism and depression: Study shows why ‘gold standard treatment’ sometimes fails

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered the gold standard treatment for depression. In fact, it is the gold standard treatment of the entire psychotherapy field due to its standing as the most researched and empirically supported form of therapy. For one group of people, however, the therapy does not always work and can lead to a worsening of symptoms. New research has found that those on the autism spectrum are less likely than their neurotypical counterparts to respond to the treatment for depression.

    The dangers of ‘neurodiversity’: why do people want to stop a cure for autism being found?

    The neurodiversity movement claims that autism is not a problem. This is nonsense

    I’m an American man affected by the disability autism. As a child, I went to special education schools for eight years and I do a self-stimulatory behaviour during the day which prevents me from getting much done. I’ve never had a girlfriend. I have bad motor coordination problems which greatly impair my ability to handwrite and do other tasks. I also have social skills problems, and I sometimes say and do inappropriate things that cause offence. I was fired from more than 20 jobs for making excessive mistakes and for behavioural problems before I retired at the age of 51.

    NDIS failing mental health patients and providers

    An ACT study of mental health care provider organisations suggests the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is failing to achieve some of its core aims for persons with a lived experience of severe mental illness.

    In a survey reporting on the transition to the NDIS, researchers from The Australian National University's Centre for Mental Health Research found the transition to individualised funding brought significant distress and uncertainty for care provider organisations in the mental health sector.

    My daughter's autism diagnosis at 23 shows how easily girls can mask the warning signs

    My daughter came into the world in dramatic fashion in November 1994.

    Key points:

    • Tracey Stewart had no idea her daughter was autistic
    • She was not diagnosed until the age of 23
    • Doctors say girls mask symptoms, making diagnosis harder

    I had been hospitalised with pre-eclampsia and she was delivered via an unplanned caesarean at very short notice.

    Only a few generations back it would have been a pregnancy neither of us would have survived — but the greatest threat to her life was to come more than 20 years later.

    SA: NDIS criticised for 'failing to provide second carer' in Nischal Ghimire drowning case

    Claire Campbell and Alice Dempster

    The drowning of a carer could have been avoided if the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) had responded to requests for a second carer for an autistic boy, a South Australian MP has claimed.

    Key points:

    • Labor MP Jayne Stinson has criticised the NDIS after a carer drowned while on shift in Adelaide
    • She said the family requested a second carer for their son's outdoor activities, but one was not provided
    • But the NDIA said it tried to contact the family in mid-December

    Teen with autism overcomes job hurdles by cornering market in cleaning smelly bins

    Jessica Hinchliffe

    Clay Lewis spent two years trying to find part-time work before he decided to start his own business, one that's now so successful he's had to hire extra staff.

    "I was trying to get a job at a fast food restaurant but I wasn't successful," the 16-year-old with autism said.

    So after some local market research and number crunching, Clay opened a bin-cleaning business with his mother Laura's help.

    Caleb has autism, needs dialysis and a new kidney but Canberra Hospital says it can’t help him

    Ian Bushnell

    A Canberra teenager with one failing kidney is facing a death sentence without dialysis and an eventual transplant but according to his mother, doctors at Canberra Hospital have told him he can’t be treated because of his autism.

    Palmerston mother and full-time carer Leanne Browning says she was told on Christmas Eve that her 17-year-old son Caleb, who also has ADHD, only had a few months to live but did not fit the criteria for dialysis because he could not sit still enough and sedation would further damage his kidney.

    And without dialysis, he cannot be put on the transplant list.

    One of The Most Common Assumptions About Autism May Be a Complete Misunderstanding


    Putting yourself in another person's shoes is never easy, and for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the practice is thought to be especially challenging.

    But even though this neurological condition is often considered a barrier to understanding complex emotions, recent research suggests this may be nothing more than a simple misunderstanding.

    Roof rack rider: Autistic son ‘difficult to contain’

    The father of a young child filmed riding on a car’s roof rack in Perth’s suburbs says the four-year-old is autistic and any parent would understand how difficult children can sometimes be to control.

    Police today charged a 36-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, with dangerous driving over the incident.

    'Massive pressure': special needs classes clustered in Sydney's west

    Jordan Baker & Nigel Gladstone

    Special needs classes in public schools are heavily concentrated in the most disadvantaged parts of Sydney, with 92 in the Blacktown local government area alone but none in Hunters Hill, Lane Cove or Mosman.

    In the Liverpool and Campbelltown council areas there is an average of just over one class for students with disabilities per school, an analysis of NSW Department of Education figures by the Herald shows.

    WA: Former Christ Church Grammar school psychologist Agni Angelkovska ‘simply lost the plot’ in attack on autistic student

    Shannon Hampton

    A senior psychologist at a prestigious Perth school has been fined $2000 for assaulting a 12-year-old autistic boy by throwing a cup of water at him.

    But a magistrate today acquitted Agni Angelkovska, 50, of using the boy’s hands to slap himself in the face during a “protracted” struggle at Christ Church Grammar School in November 2014.

    During a three-day trial earlier this month, the court was told the boy had to be carried by four staff members at the private school to a sensory room after he had a “meltdown”.


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