News/Announcements

Artwork by artists with autism find a gallery on MRT train and stations

Rachael Seow

SINGAPORE - Seventeen-year-old Choo Jian Wei is not only a first-year bioengineering student at Singapore Polytechnic, but also an accomplished member of Pathlight School's Artist Development Programme (ADP).

His "Sketch of An Eye" is one of the 10 artworks on display on board Singapore's first autism-themed MRT train and at four interchange stations.

"The eye is a window into the soul," he said when discussing the inspiration for his pencil sketch.

School autism project improving attendance and changing lives of children, families

kids sitting with arms held out sideways

Until recently, four-year-old Hussain Hussain communicated with his mother by pulling at her and pointing to what he wanted.

He managed the odd word but could not put two together.

His mother, Sohaila Ibrahim, suspected something was wrong and was not surprised when Hussain was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in late 2017.

As devastating as it was, the diagnosis turned out to be a blessing, making it possible for Hussain to attend a new school specialising in learning for students with ASD.

And the early signs have been extremely positive.

NDIS information is unreliable

The NDIS regularly posts its Q&A items. For example, the NDIA's Q&A - 9 April 2018 says:

My son has Autism level 1 and not eligible for the NDIS, however he was eligible for previous government support. Why can he not access the NDIS and what other avenues do we now have?

The ECEI approach provides an opportunity for children aged 0-6 years of age with developmental delay or disability to access timely, targeted and individualised short term support, build on family strengths and available community and mainstream supports. Early Childhood Partners will work with families and carers to link them into programs in the community which help them to support their child.

NDIS leaving parents of children with a disability feeling stressed, let down by the process

By Stephanie Dalzell and Elise Scott

At 85-years-of age, Noel Thompson did not expect to still be on duty, providing around-the-clock care to his adult son Adam — who has an intellectual disability.

For the past three decades Noel has received funding to place Adam in respite care when needed, but last year that funding was cut from the 48-year-old's NDIS plan.

World Autism Awareness Day 2 April 2018 Empowering women and girls with autism

Australian Autism Alliance logoMedia Release

As declared by the United Nations, the 2018 World Autism Awareness Day focuses on the importance of empowering autistic women and girls and involving them and their representative organisations in policy and decision making to address these challenges.

"Girls with disabilities are less likely to complete primary school and more likely to be marginalised or denied access to education. Women with disabilities have a lower rate of employment than men with disabilities and women without disabilities. ...

'It's a horror story': Carers, family speak out on NDIS regional care

Maani Truu & Natassia Chrysanthos

Natalie Vernon was trying to enjoy a holiday in Tasmania last October when she received a call from her distressed daughter, informing her Mrs Vernon’s son was threatening to kill himself.

Liam*, aged 28, has autism, developmental delay, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, and lives full-time in disability-supported group accommodation.

His care is managed by LiveBetter Community Services, formerly CareWest, which is the largest National Disability Income Scheme (NDIS) provider in rural NSW.

Light within Asperger's

FLIPSIDE Circus ensemble artist Ethan Langridge was the inspiration for a special production that sheds light on living with Asperger's syndrome.

The production, Kaleidoscope, presented by Company 2, will head to the Sydney Opera House immediately after the Lake Kawana Community Centre performances on April 13 and 14.

As a young teen, Ethan lives in a world that is a place of wonder - where everything is up for question.

Wollongong Lighthouse turns blue on Monday April 2 to be a beacon of awareness for autism

The big lighthouse at Flagstaff Hill is turning blue for World Autism Awareness Day on Monday April 2.

The Wollongong lighthouse is changing colour as dusk to recognise and celebrate people on the autism spectrum and be a beacon for awareness.

Glow Blue for Autism is being organised by Care & Share for Autism. The local charity supports families and people with autism by hosting inclusive events where everyone has the opportunity to have fun and be themselves without judgement.

Aussie mum who tried killing son with intellectual disability breaks her silence

Warning: these are very distressing stories.


Liz Little

In an exclusive interview with 60 Minutes reporter Liz Hayes, set to air this Sunday, a Melbourne woman charged over the attempted murder of her son blames the disability support system for her harrowing behaviour.

After spending more than three decades caring for her autistic and epileptic son, in May last year that Yvette Nichol finally “reached breaking point” and attempted to end his life.

Kids with autism less likely to be fully vaccinated

Phoebe Roth, The Conversation

Children with autism and their younger siblings are less likely to be fully vaccinated than neurotypical children and their siblings, new research from the US has found.

Of children aged seven years and older, 94% of neurotypical children had received all the recommended vaccinations for children aged 4-6 years. For those with autism, the rate was 82%.

It has been two decades since Andrew Wakefield’s now retracted and widely discredited study in The Lancet falsely linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism.

This new study, published today in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, suggests many parents still have concerns around vaccines and autism.

Keep the Change: actors with autism get the chance to shine in romcom

@mtredden

The director and star of a new low-budget film discuss their hopes of changing the narrative of how autism is represented in media

Brandon Polansky and Samantha Elisofon in Keep the Change. Photograph: Kino Lorber

When Rachel Israel set out to make a feature film based on a longtime friend, who has autism, and his first serious romance, casting the lead role was easy. The only person she could imagine playing her friend, Brandon Polansky, was himself.

Animal study hints at link between vitamin D and autism, but don't start supplementing yet

young boy in playground pipe

Multiple studies have found links between vitamin D and autism, but nothing is conclusive yet. Unsplash

Andrew Whitehouse, University of Western Australia and Caitlin Wyrwoll, University of Western Australia

In the last few decades scientists have been discovering the many uses of vitamin D and the possible effects of not getting enough of it. An animal study published today has found a possible link between the amount of the vitamin in the mother’s diet and her offspring’s behaviour.

NDIS and the AAT - is this a game changer?

Does your NDIS plan fall short? This article may help understand NDIS strategies and tactics ... and how you (and others) might combat them.


Budget pressures are mounting, staffing for the NDIA and its LAC partners is becoming more and more difficult, and dissatisfaction with the Scheme is growing, as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) made a big, pointy, important decision last week.

Section 34 of the NDIS Act, the “Reasonable and Necessary” definition, is among the most important, and contentious, frameworks of the NDIS. It is used to determine what supports and services will be funded in an NDIS plan. However, its interpretation varies, almost on a day to day basis, with the NDIS trying desperately to protect its budgets. The AAT’s ruling last week on the case of young LNMT (name redacted to protect her privacy) has set a precedent that is indeed, a game changer.

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