News/Announcements

Autistic children need the world to acknowledge the significance of the challenges they face

Nick Hodge, Sheffield Hallam University

Autistic children are increasingly being suspended or expelled from school, because of “behavioural problems” official figures show. Some regions in the UK have seen a 100% increase in these types of exclusions since 2011.

Research carried out by myself and colleagues at Sheffield Hallam University demonstrates the devastating consequences these exclusions have for disabled children and their families.

A landmark legal ruling in August stated that the exclusion of autistic children from school is a violation of their human rights. This decision by the upper tribunal should bring to a halt the alarming rise in the number of school exclusions of autistic pupils.

Byron Bay officer could be charged after teen hit multiple times

Warning: this story is about violent abuse by police of an autistic boy.

Tom Livingstone

A police officer who struck a naked autistic teenage boy multiple times on the NSW Far North Coast used excessive force and could potentially be charged with assault, the NSW police watchdog has found.

In a report presented to parliament this morning, the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) suggested the officer could be prosecuted over the January 2018 incident and sacked by the police commissioner.

I'm an autistic WA woman, and I reject 'quiet hour' at Coles

Georgie Elle

Supermarkets intentionally slaughter their customers with bright lights and music to influence their buying decisions.

Loud PA announcements, crashing trolleys, changes in temperature, smells from the bakery, deli, gardening department, butcher, seafood, staff with their large oversized trolleys parked in aisles in the way filling shelves that you have to carefully manoeuvre around...

Coles introduced a quiet hour to its shops in the eastern states.

Photo: Edwina Pickles

Vic: Matthew Guy promises 'revolution' for autism support services

Benjamin Preiss

Autism support services would undergo a $50 million “revolution” if the Coalition wins the November election.

The package includes a 24-hour autism helpline and a $4 million increase for early diagnosis services, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy announced on Monday.

The peak autism support group, Amaze, will receive $2.4 million to expand their current hotline to 24 hours. It currently operates during business hours.

Mum full of praise for ‘Quiet Hour’ at Coles stores

A trip to the supermaket often proves traumatic for five-year-old Leo Reseigh.

The Campbelltown boy was diagnosed with level-two autism earlier this year, with a developmental delay and high anxiety.

But a new weekly ‘Quiet Hour’ session offered at Coles has made grocery shopping easier for people, like Leo, who have conditions such as autism.

Quiet Hour promotes reduced noise and lighting in store for 60 minutes from 10.30am each Tuesday morning.

Victorian Coalition pledges $50m in autism ‘revolution’

The Victorian Coalition has promised a “revolution” in the way the state supports families ­living with autism, in a $50 million major pre-election pitch that ­includes a pledge to create a 24-hour autism helpline for parents.

Less than nine weeks out from the Victorian election, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has unveiled a seven-point plan to spend $50m over four years to boost services and support the 55,000 Victorians living with autism.

Autism learning centre for Nelson Bay

The quest to find a learning, training and respite facility for people with autism in Port Stephens has almost totally consumed the lives of Nelson Bay parents Les and Judy Merrett.

In 2010 the couple, whose 15-year-old son Dylan has autism, established the charity Autism Action with an aim to assist Port Stephens families impacted by autism and other intellectual disabilities.

We've seen autistic doctors and detectives on TV, how about Rain Woman?

Madeleine Ryan

I'm autistic, and I've rarely ever seen myself in the television characters that are supposed to represent me. There seem to be a lot of doctors, detectives – and dudes. It's hard to find stories about openly autistic girls and women navigating life as openly autistic girls and women; and even harder to find ones where autism is treated as more than a freakish gift, or as a disability.

key message - A4 and NDIA meeting, 4 July 2018

Bob Buckley, A4 Convenor, met with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Chairman, Dr Helen Nugent AO, and NDIA CEO, Robert De Luca, along with Ms Vicki Rundle and Mr Peter De Natris, at the NDIA’s Canberra office on 4th July 2018. Mary Mallet, DANA CEO, also attended.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how to improve outcomes substantially for autistic people of all ages, including children.

In relation to children, this includes:

The Australian pig farm benefitting from employing people with autism

Cassandra Hough

It is not easy for people on the autism spectrum to find work, but an Australian piggery is trying to change that.

SunPork Farms is part of an initiative called Autism and Agriculture which is aiming to develop career paths for people on the autism spectrum in animal care roles.

In Australia only about 40 per cent of autistic adults have a job.

Kimono Lounge exhibits works by autistic artist Damian Colpo

Frances Vinall

A new exhibition at Kimono Lounge showcases the works of Launceston artist Damian Colpo. 

The Kimono Lounge, a former church, is a gallery and shop in the home of Sarah Trousdale. She doubles as an art therapy teacher, and her gallery is a space for people of all abilities.

Colpo, who has autism, is a student of Trousdale’s, and has found art as a way to show his creativity, unique worldview, and love of animals. 

Watchdog looking into fenced-off classroom used to isolate teen

By Sherryn Groch

The ACT's new watchdog for restrictive practices is investigating a fenced-off facility used to isolate a Canberra student with special needs from his peers.

Following a report in The Canberra Times and calls from disability advocacy groups for an investigation, senior practitioner Mandy Donley confirmed she was looking into the case.

A spokeswoman said Ms Donley had visited the school and was working with those involved.

Advisory group plans to improve NDIS outcomes for Australians with autism

Amanda Lyons

The Autism Advisory Group, established as a voice for people with autism participating in the National Disability Insurance Scheme, announced its four key issues of focus for the next 12 months.

The Autism Advisory Group (AAG) was established by the Federal Government to advise the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on issues faced by people with autism in relation to accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

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