Disability Minister’s office disappoints on autism

Media Release

The response from Disability Minister Christian Porter MP’s office on increasing autism diagnoses is very disappointing according to Bob Buckley, A4 Convenor. Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia or A4 is the national grass-roots advocacy group for autism spectrum disorder.

Recently, A4 obtained data from Government and reported that the number of children diagnoses with autism continues to increase at a significant rate, as it has for several decades. In June 2016, there were 73,166 (>2.4%) Australian children aged 5-15 years inclusive who had their formal autism diagnosis registered with the Commonwealth Government. For this age group, autism is now more common than intellectual disability.

How to dispute a Centrelink debt

A4 editor: The following is not specifically about autism or disability ... it is here to help/inform any autistic adults who are having issues with Centrelink's cruel new system for scamming/fabricating debts from the most vulnerable.

Sally WhyteJournalist

Does Centrelink think you owe money that you don't think you owe? Here is what to do next.

Centrelink’s new automatic debt generation computer system is generating 20,000 debt notices a week, despite more and more stories emerging about obvious problems with the system.

incredible numbers of 'school students with disability'

Bob Buckley

Recently, the Education Council released its first report based on data collected for the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data: School Students with Disability.

The report describes 18% of school students as having disability. This rate of disability among school students in the major states (see Table 3 in the report) aligns remarkably closely with the average disability rate (18%) in the Australian population. But this level of disability is far more students than other reports of children with disability.

The controversy over autism’s most common therapy

Applied behavioral analysis is the most widely used therapy for autism, but some people say its drills and routines are cruel, and its aims misguided.

BY 

When Lisa Quinones-Fontanez’s son Norrin was diagnosed with autism at age 2, she and her husband did what most parents in their position do — they scrambled to form a plan to help their child.

AMA: Early diagnosis and intervention essential for children with ASD

The AMA today called for coordinated action to speed up the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children, and to provide early intervention therapies to give children with ASD the best outcomes possible.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, also called on the Federal Government to rule out any future narrowing of the eligibility requirements for people with ASD to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Formation of the Australian Autism Alliance Announced

Media Release

The enormous potential of autistic Australians is not being realised.

On the eve of International Day of People with a Disability (3 December), a pioneering network of organisations have come together to announce the formation of the Australian Autism Alliance. It brings together autistic people, their parents and carers, service providers and researchers.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolls out across Australia, "autism and related conditions" is the most common primary disability across the NDIS. The Quarterly Report to the Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) by the Disability Reform Council in June 2016 reports that "autism and related conditions" account for 31% of NDIS participants across the country.

Autism diagnoses in Australia continue to grow in 2016

Media Release

The latest national data shows the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to grow at a substantial rate. In June 2016, there were 78,951 autistic children getting Carer Allowance (child) which is an increase of 9.4% from 2015. Another 2,000 children listed autism in their next three disabilities. In June 2015 there were 72,184 children and in June 2004, there were 14,495 children aged 0-15 years getting Carer Allowance (child) with ASD as their first-listed disability.

Just over 6,000 children were diagnosed with autism in the 2015-16 financial year; an average of 16.5 new autistic children each day. Over 2.46% of children aged 10-14 years are autistic.

In 2016, there are 62,609 boys and 16,342 girls. The male to female ratio is 3.8:1. There is serious concern that many girls miss out on diagnoses and on the services and supports that they need.

ASD, early intervention and the NDIS

With a recent video, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) released a bit of information about its NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach as it affects autistic children. Regrettably, The NDIS ECEI Approach falls well short of best practice early intervention (EI) for autistic children.

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, a national grass-roots ASD advocacy group known as A4, applauds the NDIA’s intention to help children with disability into EI as quickly as possible. However, A4 is concerned that the NDIS ECEI Approach:

  • avoids diagnoses and does not recognise the distinct nature of ASD and the distinct needs of autistic children;
  • does not provide the impartial and comprehensive advice that parents need so they can make informed choices about EI for their autistic children;

  • rejects expert advice that autistic children need intensive individualised ASD-specific and comprehensive EI; and

  • diverts families from effective (evidence-based best practice) EI for their autistic children.

Reconsider your perception of autism, pleads mother of two autistic children

I am a 43-year-old autistic wife and mother to two beautiful autistic children. Our family is what I like to describe as ‘neurodivergent’: our brain and thought process is different to others based on our genetic make up. So it was with shock and disbelief when I learned that four people from the one family had died on Monday 17 October in Davidson, NSW. 

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