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Howard pledges $190m for autism

Annabel Stafford and Carol Nader, October 4, 2007

THE health bidding war continued yesterday as Prime Minister John Howard trumped Labor's pitch for the parental vote with a $190 million plan to help children with autism.

Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd was forced to match the Government policy, which dwarfed the ALP's own pledge to set up at least six autism-specific child-care centres.

Howard, Rudd unveil autism plans

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 03/10/2007
Reporter: Hayden Cooper

Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd have both promised to increase funding for autism sufferers if elected to government.


TONY JONES: Well, there were some glaring similarities between Kevin Rudd and John Howard today as they both rushed to improve the lives of autistic Australians. The leaders were both on the hustings in Queensland, a crucial state in which the coalition stronghold is under threat.

Howard's plan for autism families

Mark Metherell, October 3, 2007

Families with autistic children will get long-sought help whichever side wins the federal election.

In a policy duel both the Government and Labor this morning have announced a range of assistance measures for autistic children, who number about one in every 160 children in Australia.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has acknowledged there are "major gaps" in services for such children.

He revealed a Coalition Government would spend $190 million over five years to assist children with "autism spectrum disorders".

Helping children with autism

Media Releases


The Howard Government has today announced a $190.7 million package to support children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD,) their parents and carers.

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, said the package announced by the Prime Minister included an early intervention program to assist children with autism, worth $116 million over five years.

Economic Costs of Autism Spectrum Disorder

This study of the economic costs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Australia has been undertaken for the Autism Early Intervention Outcomes Unit (AEIOU).

The objective of this study is to develop a better understanding of the likely resource cost incurred by people with ASD, their carers, Government and society. The cost-based approach that is employed here seeks to estimate the resources required to deliver services that specifically relate to the condition of ASD.

The Prevalence of Autism in Australia: Can it be established from existing data?

This report was commissioned by the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders with funding from the Commonwealth Department of Family, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA). It arose from experience that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was increasing in Australia but there was a lack of evidence on the actual number of affected children, young people and adults across the nation.

Coroner calls for more funding for support services

A Canberra coroner has called on the ACT Government to provide more funding for coronial support services.

Coroner Ron Cahill made the comments during an inquest into the death of a 21-year-old disabled man.

Stephen Moon had been sedated after having his wisdom teeth out at Calvary hospital.

Today, the court heard it was likely he had died from pneumonia he had contracted while on ventilation.

Warnock U-turn on special schools

Baroness admits to 'disastrous legacy' of problem children in mainstream teaching. Liz Lightfoot reports

Baroness Warnock, the educationalist whose report led to the drive to include children with special needs in mainstream classes, admitted yesterday that the policy had failed and left "a disastrous legacy".

She is urging the Government to carry out a "radical review" of the closure of special schools, which she said were better able to provide a reassuring and personal environment for emotionally vulnerable pupils than large mainstream classes.

"Governments must come to recognise that, even if inclusion is an ideal for society in general, it may not always be an ideal for schools," she said. "I think it has gone too far. It was a sort of bright idea of the 1970s but by now it has become a kind of mantra and it really isn't working."

Proceedings of Biennial Australian Autism Conference, Canberra, 2004

The attached papers were published in the peer reviewed proceedings of the 2004 Australian Biennital Autism Conference in Canberra. The Conference was run by Autism Asperger ACT (AAACT).

The papers are no longer available on their website, so A4 made it available here ...

Autism/ASD diagnosis rates in Australia

Bob Buckley

Silent plea at Parliament to help autism sufferers

By Danielle Cronin
Health Reporter, Canberra Times

A "silent plea" went out yesterday for political parties to improve the lot of people with autism, as well as that of their families and carers.

More than 600 chairs, bearing the photographs of people with autism and related syndromes, were set up outside Parliament House in the "first national silent plea" for members of autism families.

The wife of former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer and mother of Harrison, said the event would fire up advocacy groups like never before.


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