News/Announcements

NDIA response on NDIS ECEI issues in email

Mr Bob Buckley
Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)

convenor@a4.org.au

Dear Mr Buckley

Thank you for your email of 6 October 2016 to the Chief Executive Officer of the National Disability Insurance Agency (the Agency), Mr David Bowen, about the Agency’s Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach for autistic children. Mr Bowen has asked me to respond on his behalf. I apologise for the delay in responding.

NDIS Board Recruiter must be replaced

Media Release: 19 October 2016

“NDIS Board Recruiter must be replaced after failing to offer up a single candidate with either a disclosed disability or lived experience of disability.” said Trevor Carroll, President of Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) and spokesperson for Disability Australia.

NDIA freeze on new participants in the ACT

The following is an brief exchange of emails between Bob Buckley and Andrew Barr MLA ... very soon before the 2016 ACT election.

This is an important matter for the whole nation, not just the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia.


Thank you for your very quick response. I hope you are right.

In South Australia, the NDIA stopped accepting new clients during their trial ... while we were told the scheme was meant to be uncapped, that turned out to be false.

regards
Bob Buckley

On 13/10/2016 9:16 PM, BARR wrote:

letter/email to David Bowen, NDIA CEO, on NDIS Early Intervention

Dear Mr Bowen,

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4), the national grassroots advocacy group for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is alarmed and disappointed by the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA’s) video on Facebook (see https://www.facebook.com/NDISAus/videos/594542027373310/ … a transcript is given below) about how its Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach is meant to work for autistic children. Disappointingly, this video shows that the NDIA continues to ignore/rejects expert advice and the peer reviewed research literature that defines best practice (and evidence-based) early intervention (EI) for autistic children (see http://a4.org.au/node/843).

The NDIA’s video features Michelle and her children (hopefully not their real names). While the following is critical of the video’s content, it is not intended to criticise Michelle who appears to be doing her best for her children. The NDIA is wholly responsible for the content of the video.

a personal letter to NDIA CEO

From: Karna
Sent: Tuesday, 11 October 2016 11:09 PM
To: 'David.Bowen@ndis.gov.au' <David.Bowen@ndis.gov.au>

Dear Mr Bowen

With the NDIS rolling out nationwide it is time for the NDIA and its parent policy agency, Dept. of Social Services to start making policy on a number of disability issues such as that of people with autism spectrum disorder and challenging behaviours such as aggression. These people are a large portion of your clients mainly in tier 3 and fall often into the too hard basket due to high support needs and very difficult behaviour. They are the clients most NGOs and other providers do not want as they are expensive and a hazard at times to staff and other clients. I have a son myself who at times falls into this group and am well aware of other “informal supports “doing it very tough with such adult or adolescent children usually males. ...

Submission to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory 
PO Box 4215,
Kingston ACT 2604

email: ChildDetentionNT@royalcommission.gov.au

 

Dear Commissioners

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) is a national grassroots organisation advocating for autistic people (people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder – ASD).

This submission is about more than autism; it is about Australia’s general lack of expertise and services for people with challenging behaviour.

Australia’s First National Guideline for Autism Diagnosis

A major study has been launched to develop Australia’s first national diagnostic guideline for autism led by The Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC).

There is strong evidence of substantial variability in autism assessment processes between clinicians, between states and between rural and metropolitan areas. This is leading to delays in diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and inequity in access to services.

Commissioned under a collaboration between Autism CRC and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), a national guideline will ensure that each individual across Australia has knowledge of, and access to, best practice in autism diagnosis.

The project will be led by Professor Andrew Whitehouse (Director of the Autism CRC Diagnosis Research Program), in conjunction with Clinical Associate Professor John Wray, Professor Margot Prior, Professor Valsamma Eapen and Kiah Evans.

Government not intending its autism over-diagnosis claim

A report from  the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) said that in February 2014 the Department of Social Security (formerly FaHCSIA) funded $50,000 worth of research to establish "the extent of [ASD] over-diagnosis nationally". 

A Deputy Secretary of DSS wrote back that

this wording is not intended to presuppose the findings of the Autism CRC report.

The Department apparently accepts (does not deny) their wording clearly pre-supposes the existence of autism over-diagnosis. However, the actual intent is now unknown. It is hard to imagine how a contract could be signed without anyone noticing this (unintended?) presupposition. A4 will be disappointed in the Autism CRC if it undertook research based on the questionable premise that parents/families and/or professionals are fabricating diagnoses of a medical condition. Credible research would not presume over-diagnosis exists; it would first need to establish that over-diagnosis really exists.

Marking Autism Awareness Day, UN officials call for inclusive societies

1 April 2016 – On the eve of the World Autism Awareness Day, United Nations officials highlighted the contributions to humanity by people with autism, noting that shunning them is a “violation of human rights” and a “waste of human potential.”

Addressing a commemorative event this morning, UN General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft stressed that “autism and other forms of disability are part of the human experience that contributes to human diversity.”

CDC estimates 1 in 68 school-aged children have autism; no change from previous estimate

An estimated 1 in 68 (14.6 per 1,000) school-aged children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a CDC report published today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Surveillance Summary. This report shows essentially no change in ASD prevalence, the proportion of school aged-children with ASD, from the previous report released in 2014. However, it is too soon to know whether ASD prevalence in the United States might be starting to stabilize. CDC will continue tracking ASD prevalence to better understand changes over time.

NDIA announce first nationally-consistent approach to early childhood early-intervention

For the first time, a nationally-consistent approach to supporting children with developmental delay or disability will exist with the release today of the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s (NDIS) Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has worked with some of Australia’s leading early childhood intervention practitioners and researchers to design a best-practice approach that is family-centred and importantly, supports children to achieve good outcomes on a case-by-case basis.

Government mental disorder report ignores autism

Dear Prime Minister

The Health Department's recent report on The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents in Australia does not once mention autism. In this respect, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia regards the report as negligent. The report was signed off by the Health Minister.

Autism is a growing issue for Governments in Australia since:

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