Autism: 'hidden pool' of undiagnosed mothers with condition emerging

Experts report growing phenomenon of women recognising themselves as they research their children’s disorders

A “hidden pool” of women who have grown up with undiagnosed autism is coming to light as mothers researching their children’s spectrum disorders recognise themselves in their findings.

Children on autism spectrum disorder 'cusp' missing out on early intervention, says child psychologist

Kate Hill

A Naracoorte child psychologist says children on the cusp of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be missing out on vital early treatment because parents or educators may not realise a child needs specialist intervention.

"The earlier the detection, the better the outcome," said Lana-Joy Durik, one of only two psychologists who specialise in early childhood intervention operating in South Australia's south-east.

Call for autism diagnosis overhaul


Patchy services and a lack of national guidelines are delaying the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in children, leading to poorer outcomes, the AMA says.

Australia has fallen behind comparable countries in the timely diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with the condition being picked up at a mean age of about six instead of the ideal age of two.

Tackling autism diagnosis on a national level

Iliana Grosse-Buening

The NDIA and Autism CRC are creating a national guideline for autism diagnosis to address delayed diagnoses and other issues rife across state health systems.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition characterised by behavioural differences in children, but autism diagnosis is far from straightforward.

Now, the Cooperative Research Centre for Autism Diagnosis (Autism CRC) and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) have joined forces to implement a national guideline for diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Underpaid disabled workers to claim compensation from Government after Federal Court win

Ten thousand disabled workers who were underpaid at government-funded workshops across the country will be able to claim compensation from the Commonwealth, following a Federal Court ruling.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn led a representative class action, after the productivity tool used to determine what wages employees at Australian Disability Enterprises received was found to be discriminatory.

UK: Schools struggle as autism diagnoses rise 25 per cent

Schools are “struggling” to provide for autistic pupils following a 25 per cent increase in autism diagnoses in the past four years, according to government data and local area inspection letters.

The first published inspections of councils’ “local offers” for special education needs and disability (SEND) provision warn of rising autism referrals and lengthy waits – with a nearly 40 per cent increase in pupils with autism statements since 2012 in one area.

UK: Airports urged to do more to assist travellers with autism, dementia and mental health issues

 Soo Kim, travel writer 

Airports in Britain are being urged to provide better support for passengers with “hidden disabilities” under new guidelines issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The new guidance, developed in collaboration with various disability organisations, was issued last week in a bid to help reduce stress and anxiety for passengers with conditions including dementia, autism, mental health problems, hearing loss, visual impairment and mobility issues when travelling through an airport or onboard an aircraft.

The controversy over autism’s most common therapy

Applied behavioral analysis is the most widely used therapy for autism, but some people say its drills and routines are cruel, and its aims misguided.


When Lisa Quinones-Fontanez’s son Norrin was diagnosed with autism at age 2, she and her husband did what most parents in their position do — they scrambled to form a plan to help their child.

Autism diagnosis in Australia lagging years behind other countries


Australian children are missing out on vital early treatment for autism spectrum disorder because of a lag in diagnosis, according to the Australian Medical Association.

Key points:

  • Autism diagnosis in Australia often occurs three to four years later than recommended
  • The AMA say slow diagnosis means Australian children are missing out on vital early treatment
  • Part of the problem comes down to a lack of specialists

The AMA said the ideal age for diagnosing children with the disorder is two but in Australia it often does not occur until a child is five or six years old.

AMA: Early diagnosis and intervention essential for children with ASD

The AMA today called for coordinated action to speed up the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children, and to provide early intervention therapies to give children with ASD the best outcomes possible.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, also called on the Federal Government to rule out any future narrowing of the eligibility requirements for people with ASD to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Formation of the Australian Autism Alliance Announced

Media Release

The enormous potential of autistic Australians is not being realised.

On the eve of International Day of People with a Disability (3 December), a pioneering network of organisations have come together to announce the formation of the Australian Autism Alliance. It brings together autistic people, their parents and carers, service providers and researchers.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolls out across Australia, "autism and related conditions" is the most common primary disability across the NDIS. The Quarterly Report to the Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) by the Disability Reform Council in June 2016 reports that "autism and related conditions" account for 31% of NDIS participants across the country.

NDIS funding decision challenged in Federal Court by Liam McGarrigle

Rick Morton, The Australian

The $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme is being tested in the federal court on the “opacity” of its funding decisions in a key case that could have significant implications for the support provided to disabled people and the financial sustainability of the entire project.

Carers falling through the cracks under NDIS

Rachel Browne

Cheryl Paradella​ was only just keeping her head above water, managing a demanding full-time teaching job while caring for two children with multiple disabilities.

"It's like walking on eggshells, you just don't want to upset the applecart," she said.

"How do you try to keep the peace and lead a normal life, whatever normal is? I only managed because I had good support from respite services."

UK: Autistic boy disqualified from competition ‘for swimming too fast’

The mother of a boy with autism was left heartbroken after she claimed her son was disqualified from a swimming final because he “swam too fast”.

Rory Logan, 9, was competing in the Special Olympics regional finals in Bangor, north Wales, when he won the 50m race in 53.15 seconds.

The time was a personal best for the Irish boy who smashed his previous heat time of one minute and three seconds.

The gender bias leaving young girls with autism undiagnosed

Henrietta Cook

For years, they were told nothing was wrong with their daughter.

Grace – or Poss as she is known – slept for only a few hours a night, refused to eat, struggled to follow instructions and took everything literally.

When a friend jokingly said "what are you going to do, hit me?", Poss responded with exactly that, striking her in the face. And when she was asked to hop to the dinner table, she bounded through the house on one foot. 

Autism diagnoses leap 10pct in a year


A jump in the number of children with autism has sparked concerns about whether the National Disability Insurance Scheme can keep up with the growing demand for support services.

Federal government data obtained by Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia shows the number of children with autism spectrum disorder rose 9.4 per cent to 78,951 in the year to June 30.

More than 6,000 children were diagnosed during the year, at an average rate of 16.5 each day.


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