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letter: need to act on NDIA's mad transport/travel policy

Dear The Honourable K Andrews MP

subject: Urgent: notify the community about the NDIA's transport policy review

Recently, someone reported on Facebook that their child's transition to the NDIS resulted in limiting or denying their child with a disability access to their school. Basically, the NDIS planner would not fund transport to and from school for a child with a disability.

I reviewed the NDIA's policy and on 14th June I posted the following to the Facebook discussion group …

"autism research" may not be about autism

A recent article on the ABC's Ramp Up website (see Everyone is on a spectrum) reports on an online survey that included "people who identify with Autism Spectrum Disorder".

One can but wonder how many "people who identify with Autism Spectrum Disorder" actually have or even should have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) ... and how representative those people are of the ASD "phenotype".

It turns out that the article describes findings that are really about "neurotypicals":

    positive story of kindness and excellent behaviour all around ...

    Naomi receives a call from a mobile number I don't know.

    "Is this Naomi?"

    "Um, yes."

    "There's a man called *** here and he's looking for you. He's pretty freaked out."

    I say "I am coming down."

    It turns out that *** has an intellectual disability and this is his first trip in a taxi by himself. He got a little muddled and couldn't figure out what next.

    I get downstairs and the most average looking bloke you can imagine is standing there with him.
    He asks if it's all OK, and can he go now.


    Naomi shared this story and wrote:

    Autism – Evolution in the Making

    Every now and then I get to thinking on the subject of why there is such a massive increase in the number of diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorders. Particularly when I read or see something on the subject. There is the fact that there is more awareness and better methods of diagnosing, however that may account for some of the increase, but not all.

    See the whole article - http://isybeeautism.com/autism/autism-%e2%80%93-evolution-in-the-making/

    Social Enterprise Albury Wodonga

    I am currently researching the idea of Social Enterprise relevant to young adults, university graduates, school leavers, and high school students in the Albury Wodonga area who have Aspergers or High Functioning Autism. I\'m trying to find successful models used in Australia and overseas, and to learn about what is currently available for this group of people in the local area.

    No need to make people normal but autism treatments are essential

    An article in The Guardian asks “Do we really need a cure for autism?” (see http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/22/does-autism-need-a-cure). Following is my person view ...

    This is a complex question. First, let's be clear about what is meant by “autism”. I take “autism” to mean a “severe and pervasive impairment”, as the group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are described in the DSM-IV.

    But there are people who use “autism” to mean a wider category of behavioural and personality traits.

    to diagnose or not to diagnose

    My 9 year old has recently been given a suspected diagnosis of autism but with more aspergers traits. Because he has a severe language disorder the autism was diagnosed. He is unaware of this diagnosis as l have chosen not to tell him. He is yet to feel any different from other children apart from his language disorder.

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