News/Announcements

Autism/ASD and the 2019 Federal Election

Hey!

Support for autistic Australians is an election issue.

Both A4 and the Australian Autism Alliance have produced material that aims to improve awareness of ASD-related issues ahead of the coming federal election.

A4 encourages autistic people, their families, carers and everyone who wants better outcomes for autistic Australians, to share these documents with candidates in the coming federal election.

You can make a difference. The easiest thing to do is write to political parties: send them (electronic) copies of the documents below and ask them to tell you what they are doing to address issues that are crucial for autistic Australians.

After 25 year the Asperger Centre in Brisbane is Closing

The Centre wishes to advise all its subscribers, supporters, volunteers and friends that the Asperger Centre at Virginia Qld will be closed from 17 May 2019.

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia appreciates the contribution that the Centre made: the dedication, advancement, information and referrals, support for families and individuals on the spectrum, the conferences they organised providing access to world class presenters and the mothers' weekends away. The Centre was a fabulous bunch of people with Stefanie as its cornerstone. 

 

Draft Terms of Reference for a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

DSS crest: Australian Government Department of Social Security

Have your say!

Finally, progress is being made towards a royal commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of Australians with disability.

You can provide input to the terms of reference if you are quick (until 28/3/2019): see https://engage.dss.gov.au/royal-commission-into-violence-abuse-neglect-a...

NDIS support inadequate for autistic participants (cont.)

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP
The Hon Sarah Henderson MP

Minister for Families and Social Services
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Cc:      Hollie Hughes

Dear the Hon P. Fletcher MP and the Hon S. Henderson MP

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, known as A4, is disappointed that your apparent response to our letter (10/2/2019) to you about inadequate NDIS funding for autistic participants was to stop reporting funding levels for disability types.

Death rates in people on the autism spectrum twice those of the general population: new research

Isabelle Dubach

People on the autism spectrum have elevated mortality across the lifespan – their overall comparative mortality rate is about twice that of the general population, a new study reveals.

The comparative mortality of people with autism spectrum disorder is twice that of the general population, an Australian-first study by a UNSW PhD student and her supervisors has found. The researchers call for a whole of health and disability systems response to this issue to improve outcomes for this group.

Coalition government must commit to a royal commission into violence & abuse of people with disability

Media release

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) commends the Senate for approving the motion last Thursday, from Green’s Senator Jordon Steele-John, to establish a Royal Commission (RC) into violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of people with disability in institutional and wider community settings across Australia.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten personally pledged his and the ALP’s commitment to a Royal Commission back in 2017, which we also commend. This has been followed up with an election promise of $26 million to get the Commission going; the ALP also supported the recent Senate motion along with others from the crossbench.

letter: NDIS support is inadequate for autistic participants

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) wrote to Minister Fletcher and NDIS officials saying A4 is concerned that NDIS support for autistic participants is often inadequate.

Table E.10 in the NDIS Y6Q1 Quarterly Report shows again that close to 29% of NDIS participants are autistic. Figure E-5 from the report and a similar figure from The Australian (see both figures below) indicate to us that for autistic participants:

Teachers need more professional development to support anxiety in students with autism

Professional development is needed to increase teacher knowledge about anxiety-related behaviours in students with autism after a Griffith University study found teachers report that they would respond differently to students with and without autism.

The study, published in the journal, Research in Developmental Disabilities, found that teachers report being more likely to use responses for children with autism that may increase the child’s anxiety levels in the long-term, such as over-protection or avoidance.

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.

Joint Media Release: NDIS delivers increased pricing to support people with complex needs

People with disability with complex support needs are set to benefit from improved support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher today announced new pricing arrangements under the $22 billion scheme. 

“The pricing increase recognises that people with complex needs require higher levels of skilled supports in their NDIS plans,” Mr Fletcher said.

Adults on the autism spectrum prescribed mental health drugs without diagnoses

Lachlan Gilbert

Off-label prescribing of psychotropic drugs to adults on the autism spectrum could be exposing individuals to harm.

Adults on the autism spectrum are being prescribed mental health drugs in instances where there is limited supporting evidence to do so.

This was one of the findings of a UNSW-led study that looked at the use of psychotropic medication – or medication for mental health problems – by adults on the autism spectrum.

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