News/Announcements

'A life-or-death situation': Mum of runaway autistic teen praises good Samaritans for quick action

The mother of a severely autistic teenager who ran onto the road in front of oncoming traffic in Melbourne's west has praised the good Samaritans who stopped and saved her son from the "life-and-death situation".

One of the three men who went to Darcy Mills' aid had his new ute stolen as he was chasing the 14-year-old along busy Rosamund Road in Maidstone on Tuesday.

Alternative health practitioner Elvira Brunt now ‘treating autism’ with belly button massage

Tory Shepherd

A HEALTH practitioner at a popular Adelaide medical clinic is treating children’s autism with belly button massage.

Elvira Brunt, from St Morris’s popular Fravira Clinic, has a long history of charging vulnerable people for false cures.

She has been criticised for giving people false hope and dangerous advice.

The Advertiser has revealed in the past that she has been accused of telling parents to deny their children treatment or even painkillers, in one case suggesting a girl with leukaemia eat KFC instead.

South Barwon MP Andrew Katos calls for dedicated autism school at Oberon site

MP Andrew Katos says the Oberon school site should be retained for education purposes.

Harrison Tippet

A LIBERAL MP has called for a soon-to-be-surplus school site in Belmont to be transformed into Geelong’s first dedicated Autism Spectrum Disorder school.

South Barwon MP Andrew Katos said the site of Oberon High School in Belmont should be retained by the Government if the school is moved to Armstrong Creek as planned — not sold off and subdivided.

“The government shouldn’t be selling off the site, they should be retaining is for education purposes,” the state Liberal MP said.

Children diagnosed with autism early more likely to attend mainstream schools

Lucie van den Berg

MOST Australian children are not diagnosed with ­autism until they are four, but new evidence highlights the importance of an early ­diagnosis.

Findings from two new studies reveal children diagnosed with the neurodevelopmental condition when they were two years old were more likely to attend mainstream primary schools.

They also had better ­cognitive and language skills when they were seven to nine years old than those diagnosed later.

Research to give new insights into autism

boy facing )not looking into) camera

Inspired by his son, Flinders optometry researcher Dr Paul Constable has commenced working with Yale Child Study Center and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital to research links between autism and the eye’s response to light.

Supported by a $US50,000 donation from the Alan B. Slifka Foundation, the research will look into the incidence of reduced light adapted electro-retinogram (ERG) b-wave amplitude in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

2017 was a ‘Dismal’ Year for Human Rights in Australia

Luke Michael

2017 was a “dismal” year for human rights in Australia, according to a report card which found the country significantly lagged behind in areas including disability rights, Indigenous rights and the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum.

The 2017 Human Rights Report Card from Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) graded Australia in a number of areas and also graded each state and territory, with mixed results.

Mother tells Trudeau autism care is a 'human rights issue'

Carly Sutherland's son, Callum, suffers from violently aggressive fits. She asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about his government's stance on setting up a national autism strategy during his town hall meeting in Lower Sackville, N.S., Tuesday evening. (Pat Callaghan/CBC)

Prime minister holds town hall meeting with residents in Lower Sackville, N.S.

A Nova Scotia activist and mother of a nine-year-old boy with severe autism asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about his government's stance on setting up a national autism strategy during his town hall meeting in Lower Sackville, N.S., Tuesday evening.

Early intervention is key to support students with anxiety about starting university

young woman looking anxious

Learning how to manage anxiety takes time and practice, so it’s not helpful to wait until stress levels are at a peak before seeking help. 

 

Author

Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Macquarie University

Editor: this isn't about autism specifically but it may help some people on the spectrum.

Roughly ;one in five students drop out of university in Australia in their first year. Students with prior emotional difficulties, who are doing their degrees part-time, mature age at entry, or from a lower socioeconomic status background are most likely to be in this category.

Autistic boy told to seek 'alternative education' after axing of program

Carla Hildebrandt

An angry Mandurah mother has lashed out at the state government after being told a specialised education program at Halls Head College has been axed.

Late last year, Wannanup resident Sally Finlay said she was told her autistic son who had attended the Halls Head College Targeted Learning program, would have to find alternative education because the program would not be offered in 2018.

Game on in Coffs for people on autism spectrum

room full of young people sitting at tables playing games

GAME ON: Attention to detail is something shared
by gamers and those on the autism spectrum.

A SOCIAL gaming group is being formed on the Coffs Coast for people on the autism spectrum.

Local retailer Good Games Coffs Harbour has formed a partnerships with the Mid Coast Communities' Ability Links to offer the program.

The first gathering will be held from 10am on Saturday, January 13, at the Good Games store on Harbour Drive.

Autistic boy's drowning is now a lesson for first responders

LOUISVILLE — Shalom Lawson, an 8-year-old Louisville boy who loved hugging people he just met, wandered from a relative's home last summer and drowned.  

He had autism, a disorder that causes many children to walk off. "Elopers,"as they are called, are especially drawn to water and are unaware of the risks. 

"Water makes them feel calm, but water is very, very dangerous," said Shalom's mother, Magdalene Lawson, who came to America from West Africa with her husband, Charles. 

She told Courier Journal she tried to protect her son by locking her bathroom to keep him from filling up the bathtub. She feared he would burn himself or drown. And she said she kept an alarm on her front door that would beep if he tried to get out.

Girls' Social Camouflage Skills May Delay or Prevent Autism Diagnosis

Study adds evidence to growing belief that current clinical tools fail to capture unique autism presentations in females

WASHINGTON – On parent-reporting measures, girls with autism seem to struggle more than boys with performing routine tasks like getting up and dressed or making small talk, even when the study group is normalized to meet similar basic clinical diagnostic criteria across sexes. The findings add to the growing evidence that girls with autism may show symptoms differently than boys, and that some of the social difficulties experienced by females with autism may be masked during clinical assessments. 

2017 was a great year for autism-inspired TV

Chris Packham and his black curly-haired dog

 Chris Packham, whose programme Asperger’s and Me
was one of last year’s TV highlights for Ann Hickman.
Photograph: Richard Ansett/BBC

Ann Hickman

As a parent with two out of three children on the autistic spectrum, I nodded with many points by Jem Lester (Seen Rain Man? That doesn’t mean you know my son, Family, 30 December). However, despite the common feelings around having our verbal and non-verbal autistic kids, I feel that actually 2017 provided plenty of great autism-inspired TV.

What dating an autistic man is like

drawing: man with glasses

A portrait of the author. (Credit: Salon/Flora Thevoux)

I’ve written before about autism and dating from my own perspective. This time I asked my girlfriend to weigh in

MATTHEW ROZSA

When you have an invisible disability, the first challenge is getting other people to believe you — to encourage them to express empathy for someone else. After that, though, you need to learn to listen to how your disability may negatively impact them — that is, to show the very empathy for others that you insist on receiving.

Why a Wollongong mum would like more people like her to have input in more projects in public spaces

Cassandra Kavanagh

Cassandra Kavanagh

Greg Ellis

A Wollongong mother of two children on the Autism spectrum who has Asperger’s herself is calling for more opportunities for people like her to have input in community initiatives.

After being invited to be part of the new committee to make Corrimal the first "Autism Friendly Community" local resident Cassandra Kavanagh wants more people like her to have involvement in more public spaces becoming autism friendly.

Warrawong mother’s angst after government denies autistic boy pension

mother and autistic son

Agron Latifi

Warrawong mother Louise Jane Maffullo is at her wits end.

Her year long efforts to secure a Disability Support Pension (DSP) for her 17-year-old autistic son Bryce Maffullo have proved fruitless.

And this has frustrated Mrs Maffullo, who can’t fathom how Bryce is eligible for special needs assistance at Warrawong High School but the Department of Social Services won’t offer similar help.

Art and Asperger's

Dennis Liew between two of his paintings hung on a wall

Living with Asperger’s Syndrome isn’t an easy feat
but it hasn’t stopped aspiring artist Dennis Liew
from soldiering on. (Pictures by Mahzir Mat Isa)

“Mummy, my teacher told me to go to Tanjung Rambutan (the nation’s oldest mental institution and now known as Hospital Bahagia, located in Perak). But I’m not crazy, mummy.” The words uttered to her by her son, Dennis Liew, more than 20 years ago when he was still in primary school continue to haunt Patricia Lim.

‘Prioritise autistic voices’: Bendigo advocates to watch closely as state updates Autism Plan

Susanna Flanagan, with her daughter Alethea, says an inquiry into autism
services heard many stories of experiences in Victoria, but feared they
would not be listened to in the end. Picture: NONI HYETT

BENDIGO autism advocates have urged the state government to listen to their real experiences as it embarks on the first update of Victoria’s Autism Plan since 2009.

They have also called for organisations which use restrictive practices such as restrain and seclusion to be either change their policies, or have no future in the delivery of services for autistic people.

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