News/Announcements

Ministers welcome national guideline for autism assessment and diagnosis

Media Release

The Coalition Government has announced a new national standard for diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), improving diagnostic consistency across Australia.

Minister for Families and Social Services, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, and Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, today welcomed the release of the national guideline, funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency.

About 164,000 Australians, including 136,000 children and young people under the age of 25, have ASD. That represents a 79 percent increase from 2009.

NDIS - response to "BCBAs and the NDIS pricelist"

MC18-002124

Mr Bob Buckley
Convenor
Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) convenor@a4.org.au

Dear Mr Buckley

Thank you for your email of 11 August 2018 to the former Minister for Social Services, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and registered behavioural clinicians. Your correspondence has been referred to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) for reply. I apologise for the delay in responding.

NDIS Autism Advisory Group sets priorities

Minister's Media Release

The new Autism Advisory Group (AAG) will provide a strong voice on behalf of people with autism who are participating in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan said the Australian Government established the AAG because of its commitment to a collaborative, fact-based approach to autism and the rollout of the NDIS.

BCBAs and the NDIS pricelist

Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2018 17:02:00 +1000
From: Bob Buckley (A4 Convenor) <convenor@a4.org.au>
Organization: Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)
To: The Hon. Dan Tehan MP <dan.tehan.mp@aph.gov.au>
CC: Senator Carol Brown <senator.carol.brown@aph.gov.au>, The Honourable Ms Jenny Macklin MP <jmacklin.mp@aph.gov.au>, senator.steele-john@aph.gov.au

The Hon. D. Tehan MP

Dear Minister

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) is concerned that the NDIA does not include registered behavioural clinicians on its disability services price list. This exclusion sends a clear message to NDIS planners and delegates that they should not include behavior supports in an individual's NDIS plan. For many autistic people (and some people with other disability types) behaviour support is essential. So excluding behavioural clinicians from the NDIS price list denies many autistic people essential disability services and supports.

NSW: Inquiry into the implementation of the NDIS and the provision of disability services in New South Wales

MEDIA RELEASE

An Upper House inquiry has been established to examine the provision of disability services in New South Wales.

The Hon. Greg Donnelly MLC, Chair of the Committee said: 'The disability sector has undergone significant reform in recent years. This inquiry is an opportunity to examine a range of issues effecting the sector. A key area of interest is the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)'.

World's largest autism grant will transform research landscape

The largest research grant ever given for neurodevelopmental conditions has been awarded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative to an international consortium academically led by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London.

The €115 million grant, titled Autism Innovative Medicine Studies-2-Trials (AIMS-2-Trials), will increase our understanding of autism and help develop new therapies to improve health outcomes and quality of life for autistic people.

FoI: NDIA website mistake

Dear Mr Buckley

Re: FOI 17/18-285

Thank you for your email.

I can confirm that the Agency has received your below Freedom of Information (FOI) request and please find attached correspondence in relation to that request.

I can also confirm that the Agency has received five other requests from you seeking information under FOI, dated between 22 May 2018 and today, and will be providing responses in due course.

Timeframe for acknowledging requests

epic fail in stakeholder engagement

Subject: epic fail in stakeholder engagement
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2018 09:28:13 +1000
From: Bob Buckley (A4 Convenor) <convenor@a4.org.au>
Organization: Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)
To: Dr Helen Nugent OA <chair@ndis.gov.au>, CEO.OFFICE <ceo.office@ndis.gov.au>
CC: The Hon. Dan Tehan MP <dan.tehan.mp@aph.gov.au>, Seselja, Zed (Senator) <Senator.Seselja@aph.gov.au>, The Hon Jane Prentice MP <jane.prentice.mp@aph.gov.au>, senator.steele-john@aph.gov.au, Senator Carol Brown <senator.carol.brown@aph.gov.au>

Dear Dr Nugent and Mr De Luca,

I met with Ms Gunn on 29-May-2018, as you organised.

If the meeting was meant to be stakeholder engagement, then it was an epic fail.

hoping to help the NDIS move forward

Dear Dr Nugent and Mr De Luca

A4 is happy to assist you and the NDIA. We are keen to be "moving forward". A4 is happy to meet "later in the month" as you requested.

A4 keeps trying to improve outcome for autistic people in Australia. We believe a meeting with you has real potential.

 
These letters follow on from http://a4.org.au/node/1741

to NDIA CEO & Chair

Dr Helen Nugent
Chairman

Mr Robert De Luca
Chief Executive Officer

Thank you for you letter, 18 May 2018 in response to A4's media release.

Mr Peter de Natris did not "advise [me] by phone on 15 May 2018" of anything. He did not call me. I note that a spokesperson for your organisation told The Guardian (see https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/18/ndis-mistakenly-posts-changes-restricting-access-for-autistic-children) that someone from the NDIA called me ... but that is not true.

Australian Autism Research Council established by Autism CRC

We are pleased to announce we are establishing an Australian Autism Research Council to review and determine national priorities for autism research and address areas of need for the autistic and autism communities

Our vision is that the priorities established by the Australian Autism Research Council will guide the future focus of research activities and research funding by government as well as research and development undertaken by non-government organisations and other industry members who provide programs and services for the autism community.

Submission on autism/ASD and the NDIS in the ACT

A4 and SOfASD made a joint submission to the ACT Standing Committee on Health, Ageing and Social Services about the NDIS. It concludes with the following section:

Conclusions and suggestions

The NDIS has enormous potential to improve the lives of Australians with disability and the whole community. But to achieve its goals, the NDIS needs to be so much better than it is now.

The NDIA seems to have issues particularly with autistic participants.

Re: NDIA, autism stakeholders and early intervention [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Dear Ms Nugent

Thank you for your reply and for your apparent intervention.

Please note that I met with Mss Faulkner, McClelland and O'Neill in January 2018 (and previously in December 2016) with the alleged purpose "to discuss [A4's] concerns"; but the meetings were not discussions. I explained what happened in the latest meeting in my previous letter; the NDIA officials were unprepared for the meetings so they did not discuss A4's concerns related to early intervention for autistic children.

While I explained again A4's concerns early intervention for autistic children in the "meeting", the subsequent letter from Ms Faulkner, ostensibly to summarise "the discussion", omitted all the concerns that I raised (in both the meeting and preceding letters). Ms Faulkner's follow-up letter shows clearly that the NDIA officials did not recognise (or summarise) any of A4's concerns.

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