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.

Is there room at the advocacy table?

by Renee Bugg

It can be hard for parents to take a step back and allow their children to have their own voices. However, when it comes to advocacy, it’s especially important to find the right balance. Here Renee Bugg, parent to Poss who is on the Autistic Spectrum, talks about how they’re meeting the challenge.

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.

autism and quality of life

A recent research publication from overseas says a "study concerning the elderly with autism showed that the difference in quality of life is similar in the elderly. Age, IQ and symptom severity did not predict quality of life in this sample. Across the lifespan, people with autism experience a much lower quality of life compared to people without autism."  (see

Questions that spring to (my) mind are:


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