bobb's blog

commentary on NDIS deep dive into autism data - July 2019

Here is my quick/cursory commentary on the ASD data that the NDIS provided 30/7/2019.

Overall, I welcome this increased reporting on the NDIS. Reporting like this helps identify how the NDIS can improve for autistic Australians. Article 31 of the UN CRPD requires the dissemination of relevant statistics but other Articles of the Convention indicate the NDIS should consult better about what information is monitored and reported.

Issues that arise include:

Hanson's view of autistic children is simply Australian law

The disability sector in Australia strongly condemns Senator Hanson for her recently expressed view that schools should "get rid" of autistic students from mainstream classrooms; see Pauline Hanson says autistic kids should be removed from mainstream classes and Senator Hanson needs to go back to school.

However, people should understand this issue better.

incredible numbers of 'school students with disability'

Bob Buckley

Recently, the Education Council released its first report based on data collected for the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data: School Students with Disability.

The report describes 18% of school students as having disability. This rate of disability among school students in the major states (see Table 3 in the report) aligns remarkably closely with the average disability rate (18%) in the Australian population. But this level of disability is far more students than other reports of children with disability.

Government persists with same old disability vilification strategy ... expecting a different employment result

Yet again, the Government is kicking people off welfare benefits hoping that they will move into jobs (see Crackdown throws thousands off disability support pension).  This pathetic repetition of oft tried and always failed approach comes from a Government that is crowing about innovation: it clearly shows Governments cannot come up with a new approach. 

What is "autism"? ... a personal/family perspective

Bob Buckley

To me “autism” means autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which the DSM-5 describes entirely in terms of behaviour, usually a child's behaviour.

The DSM-5, a manual of mental disorders, provides the diagnostic criteria for ASD. Previously, the DSM-IV described a category of disorders called Pervasive Developmental Disorders that included Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Disorder and PDD-NOS. The World Health Organisation replicated the definition, albeit with different names, in its ICD-10.

On cages for autistic students: World Autism Awareness Day in Australia

A story broke on World Autism Awareness Day in Australia's Capital that a Canberra school caged an autistic student, a student diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), in a classroom. Several people commented that this in not a remarkable or unique story.

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