News/Announcements

release of DSM-5 draft

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This week saw the release of a draft of the next edition of the main diagnostic bible used in psychiatry, the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

The long process ‘by committee’ has been controversial, and in a first for the American Psychiatric Association (APA), a draft has been made public for people to read and feedback on here. They even have a Facebook page, with a call for fans.

Here’s what the chairs of the APA’s DSM-5 taskforce have to say to you:

One in a hundred adults have an autism spectrum disorder, says pioneering new study

The world's first ever study into the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders among adults shows that one in every hundred adults living in households has the condition – broadly the same rate as that cited for children.

While studies have been carried out into the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders among children, the report from The NHS Information Centre is the first attempt to find and count adults and older people in the community with an autism spectrum disorder, including asperger syndrome.

SA Libs promise special autism school

LAUREN NOVAK, POLITICAL REPORTER February 01, 2010 12:32PM

THE Liberal Opposition has pledged to set up a school specifically for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder if elected next month.

Leader Isobel Redmond announced this morning the party would establish a school staffed and designed to "meet the needs" of those children while also putting resources towards special needs children who remain in mainstream schools.

She said there was great demand from parents, who had been lobbying the government for such a solution.

COMING TO ABC3 TV IN 2010

On February 9th 2010 ABC3 will begin screening Laser Beak Man the animated series at 6.53 a.m. Laser Beak Man is the creation of 21year old Brisbane Artist Tim Sharp. Diagnosed with Autism at age 4 drawing was used as a way of helping Tim to communicate. Tim's quirky super hero reflects Tim's intellect and wicked sense of humour.

As far as we know this may be an Australian first where a young man with Autism has their art turned into a television series. We are asking the Autism community throughout Australia to support the television programme and message of ability and success.

Dealing With the Financial Burden of Autism

By WALECIA KONRAD
Published: January 22, 2010

WHEN Jeff Sell’s twin sons were found to have autism 13 years ago, he, like so many other parents in the same situation, found himself with a million questions: Will my children be able to function? What are the best treatments and where do I find them? How will this affect the rest of my family?

And besides those monumental worries, Mr. Sell kept asking himself another fundamental question as he began the long string of doctor and therapist visits with his sons: “How in the world am I going to pay for all this?”

Autistic pupils unfairly treated

By Bruce McDougall Education Reporte, The Daily Telegraph, January 08, 2010 12:00AM

GROWING numbers of students suspended for violence, aggressive behaviour or repeated disobedience have a serious mental disability such as autism.

Families with severely disabled children said they had become the victims of an under-funded school system incapable of adequately providing for special needs.

Autism Associated With Single-letter Change In Genetic Code

ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2009) — In one of the first studies of its kind, an international team of researchers has uncovered a single-letter change in the genetic code that is associated with autism. The finding, published in the journal Nature, implicates a neuronal gene not previously tied to the disorder and more broadly, underscores a role for common DNA variation. In addition, the new research highlights two other regions of the genome, which are likely to contain rare genetic differences that may also influence autism risk.

Autism families demand more support

Dozens of people have rallied on the steps of Parliament House in Adelaide to demand more support for children with autism.

Some parents cried as they described the emotional and financial toll of finding treatment for their children.

They are lobbying for more State Government money for medical support, to reduce waiting lists and for more special education classes in schools.

Rally organiser Daryl Barkhazen says the children deserve a better deal.

A genome-wide linkage and association scan reveals novel loci for autism

Although autism is a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder, attempts to identify specific susceptibility genes have thus far met with limited success1. Genome-wide association studies using half a million or more markers, particularly those with very large sample sizes achieved through meta-analysis, have shown great success in mapping genes for other complex genetic traits.

APAC'09 Prevalence presentation

The presentation below was given at APAC'09 in Sydney. Among other things, it shows the growing number of children whose family get's Carer Allowance (that is, children who have been formally diagnosed with Autistic or Asperger's Disorders and also registered to receive Carer Allowance).

Previously, a paper on autism prevalence in Australia was published in the peer reviewed proceedings of the 2004 Biennial Australian Autism conference (see http://a4.org.au/sites/default/files/buckley_submit2.pdf).

Government announces Autism Spectrum Disorder register

Media Release

BILL SHORTEN MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services
Parliamentary Secretary for Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Australian Government has given its support to a National Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Register to better track the incidence of the condition in Australia.

Bill Shorten, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, today announced the Register at the Asia Pacific Autism Conference 2009.

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