Mental Health Issues Affect 3 In 4 Kids With Autism

Shaun Heasley

The vast majority of children with autism have at least one mental health condition too, new research suggests.

Almost 78% of kids on the spectrum are diagnosed with some type of mental health condition and almost half have two or more. Even among preschool-age children with autism, 44.8% have such conditions.

By contrast, just 14.1% of young people without autism have mental health conditions.

Autism advocate withdraws from NDIS contacted assessment pilot

Comments on twitter indicate that an NDIS "independent assessment", part of its pilot, did not go well.

This is hardly surprising. The NDIA's CEO sent a letter to all NDIS participants claiming "The [NDIA's assessment] tools have been ... used all over the world for many years". There is no such tool for assessing the capability, and more importantly the support needs, of autistic people. There most certainly is no assessment tool for ASD that has been used, and shown to be accurate, "all over the world for many years".

letter to Prime Minister about inappropriate response from Health Department

Previously, A4 wrote to the Prime Minister about an incident where police were called to a school and a young student was handcuffed. The Prime Minister did not respond.

A4 received a response (MC20-042016) from the federal Health Department to its letter to the Prime Minister.

unanswered question about the Government's war on autistic Australians

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) received a letter (MC20-161556, 27/11/2020 — see below) from The Hon. Ben  Morton MP, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The letter references A4's letter to the Prime Minister on 9/10/2020 (see https://a4.org.au/node/2243).

The letter to the Prime Minister asks one simple question:

What steps will you take to cease the war these Government officials are waging on Autistic Australians?  

The letter also highlights A4's unanswered questions policy.

What's the NDIA Been Hiding?

Have you ever suspected that the NDIA has a secret list of supports they consider ‘controversial’ or simply ‘no-go’ zones? Well, it turns out that up until the middle of this year, you wouldn’t have been too far off the mark. We learnt all this in the latest episode of everyone’s new favourite TV show Senate Estimates. (Just me? Oh, OK.) 

Interventions for children on the autism spectrum: A synthesis of research evidence

Dear person

Based on your previous interest in our publication the National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism, I am writing to let you know we have just published a new landmark report for families, clinicians, researchers and policy makers, which synthesises the best available high-quality evidence about interventions for children on the autism spectrum aged up to 12 years.

Low standards corrode quality of popular autism therapy

Rapid growth and inadequate standards in the ‘applied behavior analysis’ industry may put vulnerable children in the hands of poorly prepared technicians.

When Terra Vance took a course to become a registered behavior technician (RBT) in 2015, she was trying to transition from a career as a teacher to one as a psychologist. To get the supervised hours she needed for her psychology license, she had taken a job working with mentally ill adults for a company in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Autistic Australian left out of mental health supports again

Media Release

While A4 recognises the Health Minister’s “How’s your head today?” effort to support the mental health of Australians through this difficult COVID-19 period, we are concerned that autistic Australians have been left behind again.

Australian governments have a policy to recognise issues relating to the mental health of people with intellectual disability but to ignore the needs of autistic Australians. Minister Hunt and his department officially:

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