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.

Half of All Children with Autism Wander into Danger

Wandering is a critical safety issue for children with ASD.

The Interactive Autism Network (IAN),, the nation's largest online autism research project, reported this week the preliminary results of the first major survey on wandering among individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Approximately half of 800 parents who completed the survey reported that their child leaves safe places, with the behavior peaking at age four. Among these families, nearly half say that their child has gone missing long enough to cause significant concern about safety.

Autism Now: How Should We Address Deepening 'National Health Emergency'?

The PBS NewsHour is launching a special series of reports, both on-air and online, about a puzzling disorder that touches many lives across the U.S.: Autism Now will take a unique -- and uniquely personal -- look at how the condition impacts families, schools and communities.


Facebook troll Bradley Paul Hampson seeks bail, appeal against jail term

Tony Keim

THE first Australian convicted of "internet trolling" by plastering child pornography on the Facebook tribute pages of two slain Queensland schoolchildren is seeking bail pending an appeal against his three-year jail term

Lawyers for Bradley Paul Hampson, 29, this morning told The Courier-Mail an application had been lodged by their client for Supreme Court bail pending an appeal against his sentence.

'No discrimination' of Asperger's boy

Selma Milovanovic Legal Affairs Reporter
March 25, 2011

A TEENAGE boy with multiple disabilities who was sent home during lunch and banned from school excursions has lost his discrimination claim against the Education Department.

The Victorian boy, whom The Age has chosen not to name, has Asperger's syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder), dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.

Lions support early intervention

Dear Friends of Preschool Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

I am delighted to advise you that the 59th Multiple District 201 National Convention of Lions Clubs International in Launceston, Tasmania on Sunday 17th April passed the following Motion, NM 10.

“That this Multiple District Convention adopts the Preschool Autism Spectrum Disorders Education and Therapy Project as a Category “B” Project for a term expiring on 30th June 2012”.

This means the following:

Autism and Self Advocacy

By John Elder Robison

What, exactly, is self-advocacy and what is its place in the autism community?

Autism is a communication disorder, with a broad range of affect. Some people's autism makes them eccentric and geeky. Other people can't speak at all, as a result of more severe autistic disability.

World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day, an opportunity to raise community awareness and show support for people with the condition, their families and carers.

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Senator Jan McLucas said today was an opportunity to show support for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), their families and carers.

The joys and challenges of raising an autistic child

By Kerry Warren Friday, April 1, 2011

When Julie Hawkins' third child was born, she and her husband thought they had "struck gold".

Unlike her two older siblings, baby Sarah was quiet, laid-back and had no problem sleeping for hours on end. But as their "perfect child" started to grow up, Julie began to notice that something might be wrong.

"With our older children, they had so many sleep problems and Sarah was the baby that was happy, seen and not heard," Julie says. "We initially thought we'd struck gold and had the perfect child.

Government shows its commitment to helping children with Autism

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, today met with Playgroup Australia and PlayConnect Playgroups Coordinators in Brisbane, to discuss support for families and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ahead of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.

The Australian Government has provided $4.5 million to Playgroups Australia to deliver 150 PlayConnect Playgroups for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or ASD-like symptoms up to six years of age.

Mental health findings prompt call for Govt action

Mark O’Brien

NEW research revealing anxiety and depressive disorders as the leading cause of disability in young Australians has fuelled fresh calls for the Federal Government to deliver on its election pledge to make mental health a priority.

The study, published in the MJA, found disability prevalence rates increased by almost 50% from younger adolescence to young adulthood, with mental health identified as the most common factor.

Money can ease the suffering

Did you know there's an expensive policy proposal Tony Abbott isn't opposed to? When it lobbed last week both sides made supportive noises about it so, thanks to the perversity of politics, it slipped past without getting the attention it deserves. It's the Productivity Commission's draft report on the government's desire to establish a national disability insurance scheme.

The scheme would cover people with severe disabilities present at birth or acquired through an accident or health problem, but not due to ageing.

Question: E11-184 Mental Health, Autism

Senate Community Affairs Committee



Additional Estimates 2010-2011, 23 February 2011

Question: E11-184

OUTCOME 11: Mental Health


Written Question on Notice

Senator Fierravanti-Wells asked:

The US Centre for Disease Control has suggested there may now be an epidemic of autism.

Please advise:

a) Does DoHA have any information about an epidemic of autism in Australia?

Q&A - Asperger's syndrome

By Tim Leslie

Asperger's syndrome is a neuro-developmental disorder, one of the suite of conditions making up the autism spectrum.

While people with Asperger's have an intellectual capacity within the normal range, they experience problems with social interaction, and difficulties understanding the nuances of emotion, as well as intense preoccupation with a particular subject or interest.

These difficulties are often offset by exceptional abilities, brought about by the intense focus that forms part of the disorder.

Business Council of Australia gives simplistic and morally bankrupt advice

Media Release

Autism Asperger Advocacy Australia (A4) calls on the Treasurer, Mr Swan, to ignore the Business Council of Australia’s simplistic and morally bankrupt advice on Disability Support Pensions. The Business Council of Australia (BCA) is calling for cuts to disability support.

In a letter to the Treasurer, Bob Buckley, A4’s Convenor, says “the views of the BCA on this issue are not based on facts and are economically unsound. BCA members, Australia’s top 100 companies, should be embarrassed.”

Autistic boy deemed 'too wordy' for special school

Goya Bennett
February 4, 2011

Janine Kepert and son Matthew. Photo: Scott McNaughton

A BOY with autism has been refused enrolment at a special school because the Education Department determined that he knows too many words.

Matthew, 5, missed his first day of prep after the department's western region office rejected his application for Western Autistic School at the Niddrie or Laverton campus.

Although he self-harms and cannot hold a pencil, Matthew was deemed to have scored too well on the entrance test, which was based on language.

Disabled students pursue neglect claims

Miki Perkins
January 28, 2009

THE State Government and the Catholic Education Office are being dragged through the courts in at least 18 separate cases by disabled students who claim they have been neglected at school and lag far behind their peers.

At least 17 students, through their parents, are battling the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development or the Catholic Education Office in jurisdictions including the Federal Court, the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.


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