Productivity commission's final report into disability care and support

The Gillard Labor Government today announced that it will start work immediately with states and territories on measures that will build the foundations for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, following the release of the Productivity Commission's final report into the matter.

The Government asked the Productivity Commission to examine reform of disability support services because we believe that the system we have today is not delivering the kind of care and support Australians expect for people with disability.

The main recommendations of the Productivity Commission are:

Some parents and doctors faking autism diagnosis to get help for kids

From The Daily Telegraph, July 20, 2011

  • Students with autism up 165 per cent over eight years
  • Rates of other mental health diagnoses up by 75
  • Autism attracts more funding, more assistance

SOME parents and doctors are colluding to deliberately misdiagnose school children as autistic so they can get help for other problems, a medical professional claims.

Parents are seeking the autism "label" because funding for the condition has increased and more assistance is available for autism than for other conditions.

Parents of disabled children rebel against suspensions

PARENTS of disabled students are taking the Education Department to court alleging discrimination, saying their children are being punished for their disability by being suspended from school.

One boy from Wagga Wagga, with a mild intellectual disability and emotional disorder, was suspended three times for a total of 80 days as an eight-year-old. He is now 10 and his mother last month filed a $50,000 damages claim against the department in the Federal Court.

Rau vows to change sex-alert system for disabled

Miles Kemp
From: The Advertiser
June 30, 2011

SEVERELY disabled people will be able to give evidence in court against those who sexually abuse them.

Attorney-General John Rau has pledged to change laws to make it possible.

The announcement, to be made today by Attorney-General Rau, has been welcomed as vindication by disabled advocates and the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner Leena Sudano.

World report on disability

About 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. The global disability prevalence is higher than previous WHO estimates, which date from the 1970s and suggested a figure of around 10%. This global estimate for disability is on the rise due to population ageing and the rapid spread of chronic diseases, as well as improvements in the methodologies used to measure disability.

Only US school can help our son

A MELBOURNE family is moving to the US for "emergency education" because it believes the Victorian school system has failed their 11-year-old son.

The autistic boy is from one of at least nine families suing the Education Department through the Federal Court for discrimination and what they claim is inadequate education.

Some families say they have spent up to $100,000 on therapy, tutoring and legal fees in their bids to get their "left behind" disabled children up to speed.

Autism rates soaring in NSW public schools

A BLOWOUT in the number of autistic students at NSW public schools may have been triggered by doctors misdiagnosing children to secure extra funding.

Department of Education figures obtained by The Sunday Telegraph show one in 74 students at state schools is autistic despite the accepted Australian prevalence being one in 160.

The state government spends more than $1.1 billion each year on students with disabilities.

Doctors say the only way to secure extra funding for children who are borderline cases or who have learning difficulties is to stretch the diagnosis.

Psychologists call for prompt end to restrictive practices in disability sector

Urgent action must be taken to ensure Australians with disabilities - including children and young people - are protected from unnecessary restrictive practices that put their lives and wellbeing at risk, along with those of the people working with and caring for them, according to the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

The teachers using physical force to manage autistic children.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Psychologists and disability sector experts are worried about what they say is a hidden problem across the country - the physical abuse of autistic children.

It's allegedly occurring in both special and mainstream schools and the experts say it's due to a lack of teacher training.

Mary Gearin reports, and a warning that this story starts with some disturbing images.

(adults wrestle with and pin down a boy, who moans and cries)

Budget to provide more support to students with disabilities

TUE 03 MAY 2011

Prime Minister, Minister for School Education

Prime Minister Julia Gillard today announced new budget funding of $200 million to provide extra support for students with disability in Australian schools.

The Prime Minister said that every student in every school deserves a great education and this extra funding will help ensure that students with disability get that same opportunity.

The Prime Minister made the announcement today with the Minister for School Education Peter Garrett at Harrison School in Canberra.

Budget boost for disabled children

Samantha Maiden, April 24, 2011

FAMILIES caring for disabled children have won access to up to $30,000 a year in next month's Budget to help with early intervention and support.

The $130 million boost to early intervention also includes new support for autism and delivers on an election pledge to offer a $6000-a-year Better Start for Children payment from July.

The Sunday Mail can reveal that 9000 extra families will now be able to secure up to $30,000 a year under the changes.

Disabled children get $130m in Budget

Samantha Maiden, April 24, 2011

FAMILIES caring for disabled children have won access to as much as $30,000 a year in the May Budget to help with early intervention and support.

The $130 million boost to early intervention will also include new support for autism and deliver on an election pledge to offer a $6000-a-year Better Start for Children with Disability Payment from July.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that 9000 extra families will now be able to secure up to $30,000 a year in assistance under the changes.

Disabled need legal protection says Marrickville resident

JOKES about people with disabilities are no laughing matter for Marrickville resident James Eggleton.

Australia has its racial, homosexual and religious hate-crime laws, but Mr Eggleton can’t understand why there are none for the disabled.

Mr Eggleton, who has a disabled family member, says he’s sick of seeing vilification of the disabled in the community.

Living with Autism


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: What would you do if your happy, promising child suddenly turned into a completely different person? A Sydney couple spent the past eight years grappling with exactly that question. When their only son was 18 months old he went into a rapid decline and was diagnosed with severe autism. Now the family's experience is documented in a new book, as Sarah Dingle reports.

KATHY CAHILL, MOTHER: I guess every parent wants to think that their child will be able to exist in the world, um, or have a place in the world.

Report - Economic Costs of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Australia

Key findings 

This review has produced an estimate of the annual economic costs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Australia, updating a previous study completed in April 2007. 

This review has produced an updated estimate of the annual economic costs of ASD in Australia, including the burden of disease, of between $8.1 billion (low prevalence) and $11.2 billion (high prevalence), with a mid-point of $9.7 billion (all estimates are in December 2010 dollars). 

Couple forced to give up son

Special Investigation Bill Hoffman

A SUNSHINE Coast family has made the heartbreaking decision to give up their disabled 15-year-old son to the state after battling for years to gain the help they need to support him at home.

Garry and Mary Taylor, of Pacific Paradise, refused to take Kenny from Nambour Hospital, where he was admitted on February 22, following his medical discharge on March 16.

They will be the 44th family in Queensland to take that step already this financial year and the 10th on the Sunshine Coast.


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