News/Announcements

Please stop the Centrelink debt fabrication debacle

Dear The Hon C Porter MP

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, known as A4, is disappointed that the Australian Government decided to defraud vulnerable autistic people and that it chooses to discourage autistic people from working.

Your government’s latest debt fabrication scheme

  1. takes money from autistic people who made the effort to get some employment, and

  2. sends a clear message to unemployed autistic people that unless they can get a permanent full-time job, they should not try to get work at all.

thanks for the Christmas card

Dear The Hon. J Prentice MP

Thank you for the Christmas card that you sent me.

However, I am concerned. When we met recently, it seems your staff had advised that Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, known as A4, was excluded from your disability consultation processes because organisers in your Department did not have A4's address; they claimed that they didn't know which state A4 was located in so A4 was left off all the lists.

But they did know the address to send a Christmas card to A4's Convenor.

AMA: Early diagnosis and intervention essential for children with ASD

The AMA today called for coordinated action to speed up the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children, and to provide early intervention therapies to give children with ASD the best outcomes possible.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, also called on the Federal Government to rule out any future narrowing of the eligibility requirements for people with ASD to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

NDIA letter

Mr Bob Buckley
Convenor
Autism Asperger’s Advocacy Australia
convenor@a4.org.au

Dear Mr Buckley
Thank you for your email of 12 October 2016 to the Assistant Minister for Social Services and
Disability Services, the Hon Jane Prentice MP, regarding best practice early intervention for
autistic children and continuity of supports under the NDIS. The Minister has asked me to reply
to you on her behalf.

Formation of the Australian Autism Alliance Announced

Media Release

The enormous potential of autistic Australians is not being realised.

On the eve of International Day of People with a Disability (3 December), a pioneering network of organisations have come together to announce the formation of the Australian Autism Alliance. It brings together autistic people, their parents and carers, service providers and researchers.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolls out across Australia, "autism and related conditions" is the most common primary disability across the NDIS. The Quarterly Report to the Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) by the Disability Reform Council in June 2016 reports that "autism and related conditions" account for 31% of NDIS participants across the country.

Autism diagnoses in Australia continue to grow in 2016

Media Release

The latest national data shows the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to grow at a substantial rate. In June 2016, there were 78,951 autistic children getting Carer Allowance (child) which is an increase of 9.4% from 2015. Another 2,000 children listed autism in their next three disabilities. In June 2015 there were 72,184 children and in June 2004, there were 14,495 children aged 0-15 years getting Carer Allowance (child) with ASD as their first-listed disability.

Just over 6,000 children were diagnosed with autism in the 2015-16 financial year; an average of 16.5 new autistic children each day. Over 2.46% of children aged 10-14 years are autistic.

In 2016, there are 62,609 boys and 16,342 girls. The male to female ratio is 3.8:1. There is serious concern that many girls miss out on diagnoses and on the services and supports that they need.

NDIA ECEI Approach: Re: NDIA Reply: EC16-001080 [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Dear Ms Gunn

Thank you for your letter (3/11/2016).

In it you wrote:

The Agency continues to consult with experts such as the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism and advocacy groups around the ECEI approach. The Agency values the experience and knowledge from these important groups of stakeholders.

Please would you provide the complete list of the experts that the NDIA consults relating to the provision/delivery of the NDIS for autistic people? And please would you explain how the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism is a “stakeholder” in the NDIS.

We understand this means the NDIA will not consult with Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4).

NDIA, impartial advice and access to best practice early intervention for autistic children

Dear The Hon Jane Prentice MP

I write about the promise that “that no one will be worse off under the NDIS” (see here). My particular concerns relate to autistic children and their access to impartial information and effective (best practice) early intervention.

I am writing to you because writing to the NDIA (see here, here, here and here for example) made no discernible difference (on these, or any other significant issue)

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.

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.

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