News/Announcements

'Violence, abuse, neglect': three Melbourne special schools in probe

Adam Carey

Three special schools in Melbourne will be investigated over a series of allegations of “violence, abuse and serious neglect” of students with disabilities over the past 10 years.

Victoria’s Department of Education and Training has launched an investigation into multiple claims of mistreatment of vulnerable children at Marnebek School in Cranbourne East, Jackson School in St Albans and Southern Autistic School in Bentleigh East.

For some Australians with autism, going back to 'normal' life after coronavirus isn’t so welcomed

Sophie Lamberts

Working from home, communicating via a computer, social distancing ... In a world turned upside down by coronavirus, some people on the autism spectrum have prospered, and returning to how things were is now a source of anxiety.

For some adults with autism, it seems strange that the marvels of working from home and social distancing are only being recognised in the wake of a pandemic. 

Autistic-majority IT services company celebrates Autistic Pride Day

Sara Barker

Auticon, a social IT enterprise that employs more than 200 people on the autism spectrum, is today celebrating Autistic Pride Day, highlighting the value and success that its consultants have achieved in the IT field.

Auticon offers services across business analytics, artificial intelligence, software development, cybersecurity, as well as quality assurance and testing. 

Autism review concerns NDIS users

Professor Andrew Whitehouse.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse.

As the National Disability Insurance Agency awaits the findings of research it has commissioned into autism support and treatment, members of the autism community are concerned the report may never be made public. By Rick Morton.


The National Disability Insurance Agency has been working for months on a secret report that will lock in the evidence base for different autism interventions and support packages, but advocates fear it could be used to cut costs if it is not made public.

Training to support people with autism into work

12 June 2020
Minister The Hon. Anne Ruston MP, joint with Senator Hollie Hughes

The Morrison Government is delivering on its election promise to support people with autism into employment.  

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston today announced two new training projects as part of the Government’s suite of disability employment initiatives. 

Doughnut bakery and social enterprise Krofne, Whitmur Advisors and GenU Training have received $200,000 to work together to develop two accredited training courses for the hospitality industry.

Hannah Gadsby on her new show Douglas, autism and life after Nanette

Hannah Gadsby isn't here to teach you about autism, but there are things to learn if you are willing.

"But people don't always want to learn, so screw them," she said this week.

The Australian comedian is back after her barnstorming show Nanette delved into past trauma and rocketed her to international fame.

Her new show, Douglas, is a deliberately lighter touch that draws on her experience living with autism and weaves in anecdotes from her life.


‘It’s been a real rollercoaster’: navigating autism in the Covid-19 chaos

@Gay_Alcorn

A sense of routine is essential for Morgan Tilly, who has non-verbal autism. So when coronavirus restrictions hit, her family had to create familiarity amid the uncertainty.

Morgan Tilly, 24, loves to swim. She seems to have a physical, sensory need to be in the water.

Test case highlights the need for better school support for children with autism

PIAC has commenced a discrimination test case on behalf of an eight-year old girl who has an autism spectrum disorder, after she was expelled from her primary school in Year 2.

PIAC’s client, Hannah Blundy, says that her daughter, Catherine, was expelled after her school failed to provide a range of supports and adjustments recommended by health professionals in time to keep her educational and social development on track.

Environmental factors unlikely to account for rise in autism prevalence

The relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to autism and traits of the condition have held steady over multiple decades, according to a large twin study 1.

Among tens of thousands of Swedish twins born over the span of 26 years, genetic factors have consistently had a larger impact on the occurrence of autism and autism traits than environmental factors have. The study suggests that genetics account for about 93 percent of the chance that a person has autism, and 61 to 73 percent of the odds she shows autism traits.

Research on facial expressions challenges the way we think about autism

Autism researchers are starting to think that autistic and non-autistic faces may “speak a different language” when conveying emotion. This could mean the “social difficulties” often associated with autism may, at least partly, result from differences in the facial expressions produced by autistic and non-autistic people. It means we may need to re-think the idea that autistic people have difficulties with expressing their emotions and instead consider that non-autistic people may have trouble reading them.

Woolworths pilots autistic consultants in software assurance

Ry Crozier

Brings five consultants onboard initially.

Woolworths has kicked off a six-month “pilot program” employing five autistic technology consultants to work across several quality assurance and software delivery projects.

The program is enabled through a partnership with auticon, which has been in Australia since November last year, and coincides with World Autism Awareness Month.

Bouvard teen’s great rap for NDIS support

Jake Dietsch

An aspiring Bouvard rapper who has racked up hundreds of followers in the past month says living with autism was a help, rather than a hindrance, to his creativity.

Lachlan Brownlie, 18, always received As in English, despite struggling in other subjects, and started experimenting with poetry at the age of just four.

“I started mixing words together and that’s how I developed my creativity,” he said.

Statement of Concern – COVID-19: Human rights, disability and ethical decision-making

Media Release

Internationally recognised Australian experts in the areas of human rights, bioethics and disability, have today released a Statement of Concern to emphasise key human rights principles and standards that need to underpin ethical decision-making in the context of disability and the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 should not herald rollback in rights for people with autism: UN chief

United Nations logo

The rights of persons with autism must be taken into account in efforts to address the COVID-19 coronavirus: “a public health crisis unlike any other in our lifetimes”, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday.

António Guterres’s appeal came in his message for World Autism Awareness Day, observed annually on 2 April.

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