News by Region

Lack of funding for Autism forces family overseas

7:30 Report - Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Broadcast: 19/08/2009, Reporter: Sharon O'Neill

It is estimated that half a million Australian families are affected by autism and many of them struggle not just with the needs of an autistic child or adult but with the huge costs associated with the array of therapies required to treat the disorder. For one family, Australia did not have the resources they needed for their autistic son, forcing them to relocate to the United Kingdom.

Patients 'locked in cages' at Bribie Island care facility

Warning: do not read on if you are at all sensitive to distressing news.

Tristan Swanwick, September 01, 2009 12:00am

INTELLECTUALLY impaired residents of a Queensland care home were locked in cages, tied to toilets and struck with fly swatters by staff, a court heard yesterday.

Susan Beryl Lister, 60, yesterday pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane District Court to charges of deprivation of liberty and assault.

Schools telling disabled children to stay at home

Justine Ferrari, Education writer | August 26, 2009

Article from:  The Australian

SCHOOLS are turning children with disabilities into part-time students by restricting their attendance hours in breach of anti-discrimination laws.

Some school principals are limiting the time disabled students are in class to match the hours a teacher's aide or other assistance is available, Macquarie and Sydney university researchers have found.

A first for autism child-care

La Trobe University has been chosen by the Federal Government as Victorian service provider under its new national Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres program.

In partnership with the Royal Children’s Hospital, the University will receive $4 million over four years to develop such a centre, co-located with its Community Children’s Centre on the main Melbourne campus at Bundoora.

Family forced to head to UK for autistic son's sake



A New South Wales family have made the gut-wrenching decision to leave the home and friends they love and move to the UK because they say Australia cannot provide the support and services they need for their autistic son.

It is estimated that 500,000 Australian families are affected by autism.

National autism register to be established

Australian Associated Press

"We need to know the extent of autism in Australia so we can properly support people with ASD." Bill Shorten

A national register will be created to track the rising incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Australia, the federal government has announced.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services Bill Shorten told a regional autism conference in Sydney that a register would help improve government support services.

Autism among USA health issues

Health care in the USA is a major topic of discussion. Recent reports show autism is in the discussion (other than diagnosis, the health care sector in Australia largely ignores autism spectrum disorders).

According to media reports ...

One ad by an autism awareness group urges viewers to tell Congress that any plan that does not prevent autism insurance discrimination “is unacceptable.”

The media reports are:

Community and Disability Services Ministers’ Conference Communique


Disability Services

Ministers agreed to develop a comprehensive implementation plan for the National Disability Agreement (NDA) by July 2009, which identifies the work to be undertaken over the next five years and includes reporting arrangements, details about progress, timelines, milestones and outcomes.

Australia signs UN disability protocol

People with disabilities now have another avenue to complain about being discriminated against under an agreement ratified by 40 nations.

Australia has signed up to the UN's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Optional Protocol.

The protocol, agreed to by 40 nation's, allows complaints to be lodged to the UN if all domestic remedies have been exhausted.

Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes said it was crucial to get a new national disability strategy up and running.

Kevin Rudd taps into concerns on autism

A SMALL centre for autistic children on Brisbane's northside may have won a visit from Kevin Rudd in a charity auction, but the Prime Minister showed yesterday that he is highly sensitive to autism in the broader community.

Mr Rudd yesterday morning met staff and students during a visit to the AEIOU Centre for Children with Autism at Bray Park, which won the prime ministerial visit as a prize at a charity auction.

Studies show increase in Autism cases

Australian officials currently estimate that about one in 160 children are diagnosed with autism, but findings from two new studies suggest it is much more common.

It is not clear whether autism itself is on the rise, or whether better diagnosis is inflating the figures.


Researchers from Melbourne's La Trobe University studied 20,000 children as they grew from infants to toddlers.

They trained baby health nurses to pick up early signs of autism.

Dr Cheryl Dissanayake is one of the lead researchers.

Research suggests children can recover from autism

CHICAGO — Leo Lytel was diagnosed with autism as a toddler. But by age 9 he had overcome the disorder.

His progress is part of a growing body of research that suggests at least 10 percent of children with autism can "recover" from it — most of them after undergoing years of intensive behavioral therapy.

Skeptics question the phenomenon, but University of Connecticut psychology professor Deborah Fein is among those convinced it's real.

Support in short supply for disabled

Bruce Bonyhady | May 07, 2009

The Australian (see,,25439463-32542,00.html)

AUSTRALIA'S disability support system is inequitable, fractured, under-resourced and slowly collapsing under the weight of its own inadequacies, while sub-optimally consuming billions of dollars of taxpayers' money each year.

Big spend to protect vulnerable

  • Paul Austin
  • May 5, 2009

A $925 million social welfare package to help Victorians hit by the global recession will be a centrepiece of today's state budget.


The program, "A Fairer Victoria", is designed to help the state's most vulnerable citizens — including new migrants, Aborigines, families with disabled children and people with a mental illnesses — who are likely to suffer most as unemployment rises and the economy slows.

Autistic kids 'have enlarged amygdala'

May 7, 2009 - 10:44AM


Young children with autism appear more likely to have enlarged amygdala - the part of the brain associated with registering faces and with expressing key emotions, according to a study released on Monday.

Described in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, the study compared the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results of 50 autistic children and 33 control children.

The children's brain scans were taken at age two and again at age four.


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