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Silent plea at Parliament to help autism sufferers

By Danielle Cronin
Health Reporter, Canberra Times

A "silent plea" went out yesterday for political parties to improve the lot of people with autism, as well as that of their families and carers.

More than 600 chairs, bearing the photographs of people with autism and related syndromes, were set up outside Parliament House in the "first national silent plea" for members of autism families.

The wife of former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer and mother of Harrison, said the event would fire up advocacy groups like never before.

On the front lines of autism

mother pointing to book page in child's lap

Comeback trail: Cherie Phillips and daughter Bronte, 3,
spend six to 10 hours a day on development work.
Photo: Tanya Lake

The rise in autistic disorders has embattled parents and doctors searching for new treatments, writes Judy Skatssoon.

Autism in a child is one of the most complex and challenging disabilities a parent can face, says Dr Trevor Clark, head of research and education at the Autism Association of NSW.

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