News/Announcements

Budget to provide more support to students with disabilities

TUE 03 MAY 2011

Prime Minister, Minister for School Education

Prime Minister Julia Gillard today announced new budget funding of $200 million to provide extra support for students with disability in Australian schools.

The Prime Minister said that every student in every school deserves a great education and this extra funding will help ensure that students with disability get that same opportunity.

The Prime Minister made the announcement today with the Minister for School Education Peter Garrett at Harrison School in Canberra.

Lions support early intervention

Dear Friends of Preschool Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

I am delighted to advise you that the 59th Multiple District 201 National Convention of Lions Clubs International in Launceston, Tasmania on Sunday 17th April passed the following Motion, NM 10.

“That this Multiple District Convention adopts the Preschool Autism Spectrum Disorders Education and Therapy Project as a Category “B” Project for a term expiring on 30th June 2012”.

This means the following:

World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day, an opportunity to raise community awareness and show support for people with the condition, their families and carers.

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Senator Jan McLucas said today was an opportunity to show support for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), their families and carers.

Government shows its commitment to helping children with Autism

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, today met with Playgroup Australia and PlayConnect Playgroups Coordinators in Brisbane, to discuss support for families and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ahead of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.

The Australian Government has provided $4.5 million to Playgroups Australia to deliver 150 PlayConnect Playgroups for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or ASD-like symptoms up to six years of age.

Two year anniversary of Helping Children with Autism package

Jan McLucas, Jenny Macklin posted Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Today marks the two year anniversary of the Australian Government’s $190 million Helping Children with Autism package, an initiative aimed at providing early intervention services to children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In the two years since its introduction, more than 10,000 Australian children aged up to six years old have accessed more than 220,000 early intervention services through the Government’s autism package.

Ivar Lovaas: pioneer in treatment of autism dies


A respected and revered pioneer in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders has died. Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas passed away in California.

Dr. Lovaas expanded on the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) which helps people with autism learn to function in day-to-day society. His work began in the 1960s and helped thousands of children with autism across the globe. ABA is evidence-based treatment that proves successful in about half of the patients treated, and can offer the chance for a more productive life.

In Reno, Deborah Schumacher's son, Cliff, was the first child to receive treatment from Dr. Lovaas. In the early 1990's, Schumacher said she knew "something was clearly not developmentally right" with her little boy, "but i didn't know what was wrong." She learned of Dr. Lovaas's methods and classes at UCLA, and moved to southern California with Cliff when he was three years old.

"He got 42 hours a week of one-on-one work in the beginning," she said. "That only took-- in his case-- about a year and a half and he went from being non-verbal to being able to handle first grade."

"You have Dr. Lovaas a cheerful bouyancy and a dead seriousness about what's at stake here, and that's the life of a child," said Patrick Ghezzi, Ph.D., who uses Dr. Lovaas's treatments to help children with autism in Reno.

What foods give kids a healthy start to life?

An international symposium on the role nutrition plays in the prevention and management of pregnancy complications and early childhood diseases such as autism, asthma, obesity and cancer will be held in Adelaide this Friday, 30 July.

"Nutritional genomics is an emerging area of science that is making a significant difference in our approach to enhancing health outcomes by improving our understanding of how to prevent harmful genetic changes that cause developmental defects and degenerative diseases," says Professor Michael Fenech from CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences.

National position: appropriate education for students with ASD

In April 2010, Australia's Autism Month, the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders (AAB ASD) launched its position paper on Education and Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia: The provision of appropriate educational services for school-age students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia.

The Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders calls for educational services for school-aged Australian children and adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that are governed by the following principles:

    Outrage over Seven Hills West Public School putting autistic children in cage

    By Lisa Martin, From: AAP, March 11, 2010 6:01PM

    • Autistic children kept in fenced area
    • Treatment inhumane, says NSW Opposition
    • Matter of safety, says Education Department

    A SYDNEY primary school that pens children with autism in a fenced area at lunchtimes should be investigated for human rights violations, the New South Wales Opposition says.

    Parents with children at Seven Hills West Public School are angry that pupils with special needs are placed inside a fenced enclosure that has one tree, a bench and a dirt floor.

    One in a hundred adults have an autism spectrum disorder, says pioneering new study

    The world's first ever study into the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders among adults shows that one in every hundred adults living in households has the condition – broadly the same rate as that cited for children.

    While studies have been carried out into the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders among children, the report from The NHS Information Centre is the first attempt to find and count adults and older people in the community with an autism spectrum disorder, including asperger syndrome.

    advocacy and charitable status

    The recent Federal Court decision in the matter Commissioner of Taxation v Aid/Watch Incorporated 2009 says
    that an advocacy and lobbying organisation, such as A4, cannot be seen as a charitable for tax purposes.

    Such a decision has major implications about how advocacy groups operate.

    Here are some links to commentary on the issue ...

    Government announces Autism Spectrum Disorder register

    Media Release

    BILL SHORTEN MP
    Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services
    Parliamentary Secretary for Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction

    Thursday, August 20, 2009

    The Australian Government has given its support to a National Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Register to better track the incidence of the condition in Australia.

    Bill Shorten, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, today announced the Register at the Asia Pacific Autism Conference 2009.

    A first for autism child-care

    La Trobe University has been chosen by the Federal Government as Victorian service provider under its new national Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres program.

    In partnership with the Royal Children’s Hospital, the University will receive $4 million over four years to develop such a centre, co-located with its Community Children’s Centre on the main Melbourne campus at Bundoora.

    Community and Disability Services Ministers’ Conference Communique

    from www.csmac.gov.au/.../2009%20-%206%20March%20-%20CDSMC%20Meeting%20Commun...

    Disability Services

    Ministers agreed to develop a comprehensive implementation plan for the National Disability Agreement (NDA) by July 2009, which identifies the work to be undertaken over the next five years and includes reporting arrangements, details about progress, timelines, milestones and outcomes.

    Bill Shorten launched a new information website

    The media release (see http://www.alp.org.au/media/0209/msdcsfcs240.php) says ...

    Parents and carers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) will benefit from a new information website created as part of the $190 million Helping Children with Autism package.

     

    The website was launched today at Parliament House by the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services Bill Shorten.

     

    Proposal for a National Disability Insurance Scheme

    There is growing support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (see http://www.natdis.com.au/). A paper on the full proposal can be downloaded from http://www.natdis.com.au/NDIS.pdf.A4 members are encouraged to consider the proposal as tell us what they think about how such a scheme would affect people with ASD and their families.

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