One of The Most Common Assumptions About Autism May Be a Complete Misunderstanding


Putting yourself in another person's shoes is never easy, and for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the practice is thought to be especially challenging.

But even though this neurological condition is often considered a barrier to understanding complex emotions, recent research suggests this may be nothing more than a simple misunderstanding.

'Massive pressure': special needs classes clustered in Sydney's west

Jordan Baker & Nigel Gladstone

Special needs classes in public schools are heavily concentrated in the most disadvantaged parts of Sydney, with 92 in the Blacktown local government area alone but none in Hunters Hill, Lane Cove or Mosman.

In the Liverpool and Campbelltown council areas there is an average of just over one class for students with disabilities per school, an analysis of NSW Department of Education figures by the Herald shows.

WA: Former Christ Church Grammar school psychologist Agni Angelkovska ‘simply lost the plot’ in attack on autistic student

Shannon Hampton

A senior psychologist at a prestigious Perth school has been fined $2000 for assaulting a 12-year-old autistic boy by throwing a cup of water at him.

But a magistrate today acquitted Agni Angelkovska, 50, of using the boy’s hands to slap himself in the face during a “protracted” struggle at Christ Church Grammar School in November 2014.

During a three-day trial earlier this month, the court was told the boy had to be carried by four staff members at the private school to a sensory room after he had a “meltdown”.

Fighting NDIS planning decisions through tribunal a long, difficult and frustrating process, Hunter families say

Anita Beaumont

THE “exhaustive” process of contesting a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan can eventually work, but only for those who are willing to wait, and able to fight, Hunter families say.

Anna Noon, of Speers Point, said it took 14 months to go through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) after her son’s plan was slashed by more than 70 per cent without warning.

Her son, Zach, became an NDIS participant during the trial of the scheme in the Hunter.

Autism community hits back at comments from professor Jeremy Nicholson

Kate Campbell

Claims from a world-leading professor, that autism is a silently growing monster and forms of it can be prevented, have prompted outrage within the autism community.

The Fiona Stanley Hospital precinct in Perth's southern suburbs is set to become home to one of the world's leading research laboratories - the Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC). Harry Perkins Research Institute at Fiona Stanley Hospital to house Australia's first phenome research centre. Phenomics set to revolutionise the way disease is diagnosed and treated.

Claims from a world-leading professor lured to Perth to head up a game-changing research hub, that autism is a silently growing monster and forms of it can be prevented, have prompted outrage within the autism community.

Disability service providers referred to police after Victorian deaths in care

Biwa Kwan

The Victorian Services Commissioner has referred disability service providers to the police for possible criminal investigation over the deaths of people receiving disability care.

The report by the Victorian Disability Services Commissioner found 'significant failures' in the provision of disability services, which resulted in death in 2017-18. 

Restraint of People with Autism and Developmental Disability

John Elder Robison

Some institutions can restrain people against their will. Should it be allowed?

Restraint is emerging as a hot-button topic among autistic self-advocates and some parents.  

People on both sides feel their position is obviously correct: Restraint leads to abuse, and should be banned; or restraint is necessary for the safety of some people, and those who deny it are crazy or idealistic.

Whenever people are restrained against their will there is always a risk of abuse and cruelty. The sad truth is, many staff working with developmentally disabled people are poorly trained and poorly paid – a bad combination that can lead to horrific outcomes. The condemnation those incidents receive is certainly deserved. Unfortunately, it’s just the tip of the iceberg and most abuse involving restraint is never reported.

Rain Man made autistic people visible. But it also entrenched a myth

Thirty years on, the ‘autistic savant’ portrayed by Dustin Hoffman still represents most people’s idea of autism

After Rain Man was released on 16 December 1988, the whole world knew what “autistic savant” meant. Despite spending years in development hell, and test screenings fostering tepid and confused responses, Rain Man was a runaway success. It swept the Oscars, winning best picture, best original screenplay, best director and best actor for Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal of Raymond Babbitt.

With a limited on-screen presence, autistic characters have emerged in another medium: fan fiction

Jonathan Alexander and Rebecca Black

In one Harry Potter fan fiction story, Hermione Granger anxiously awaits the results from a recent test.

It isn’t her performance on an exam in a potions course that she’s concerned about. Instead, the higher-ups at Hogwarts had ordered she undergo some psychological tests. They had noticed how quickly she talked, along with her nervous tics.

Australian National Phenome Centre: new facility could find autism prevention

Kate Campbell

Forms of autism could be “completely prevented” by an “experimental workshop for the world” setting up in Perth’s southern suburbs.

Professor Jeremy Nicholson, new head of the Australian National Phenome Centre at Fiona Stanley Hospital’s Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, said the revolutionary work could stop some children becoming autistic.

Letter: Our health: Don't forget low-functioning autistic people, please

Congratulations, Clem Bastow. Finally, at the age of 36, you received a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (The Age, 12/12). You had spent your life wondering why you were the way you were and felt the way you did and, no doubt, were filled with frustrations and other negative feelings.

What I find concerning about autism diagnosis in cases such as yours – and which are currently being talked about so much – is that people in general seem to believe most autistic people are high functioning and can live productive lives.

I was diagnosed as on the spectrum at 36, suddenly things made sense

There have been only a handful of times in my life where I felt truly “seen”: one was my first visit to San Diego Comic-Con, and the other was my diagnosis, at 36, of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

After a lifetime of feeling distinctly different, I was so thrilled to finally have answers that I half hoped the consulting psychologist delivering my results might tack a “congratulations” on to their assessment.

Clem Bastow knew she felt different, but it took until the age of 36 that she got a diagnosis.Credit:Kristoffer Paulsen

Psychologist accused of assaulting student with autism tried to calm boy, court told

Phil Hickey

An educator says she was left "disturbed" by a conversation she had with a school psychologist who is on trial accused of assaulting a young student with autism.

The boy was 12 when the alleged assault happened at the school.

Agni Angelkovska, 50, is on trial in the Perth Magistrates Court accused of slapping the male student and throwing a cup of water at him at Christ Church Grammar School in 2014.


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