News/Announcements

Rocketing autism numbers met with education shortfall

HEATH GILMORE, July 26, 2010

AUTISTIC children are being forced into mainstream classes because of a lack of places in specialised learning groups in NSW schools, an inquiry has heard.

The families and teachers of autistic children have complained to the NSW parliamentary inquiry about the failure to provide an adequate number of places, despite a sharp increase in students diagnosed with learning problems.

What foods give kids a healthy start to life?

An international symposium on the role nutrition plays in the prevention and management of pregnancy complications and early childhood diseases such as autism, asthma, obesity and cancer will be held in Adelaide this Friday, 30 July.

"Nutritional genomics is an emerging area of science that is making a significant difference in our approach to enhancing health outcomes by improving our understanding of how to prevent harmful genetic changes that cause developmental defects and degenerative diseases," says Professor Michael Fenech from CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences.

Rudd undone by the enemy within

The opposition did not bring down Kevin Rudd, nor the Labor Party's factions. The answer lies within the man's complex personality.

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Others say that while Rudd never yelled or became visibly angry in encounters, his displeasure was pretty obvious. Often business people found themselves being lectured by the PM who had a tendency to suck all the oxygen out of the room, ruining any real exchange of views. One chief executive goes as far as saying: "I think he suffered a complete lack of empathy. It was almost like he had a form of Aspergers or autism."

PM's mental health advisor quits

20 June 2010 | 01:05:33 PM | Source: AAP

National Advisory Council on Mental Health chairman John Mendoza tendered his resignation on Friday in a letter to Health Minister Nicola Roxon. (AAP)

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's top mental health adviser has quit accusing the government of a lack of vision and commitment to a problem that affects millions of Australians.
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National Advisory Council on Mental Health chairman John Mendoza tendered his resignation on Friday in a letter to Health Minister Nicola Roxon.

His letter has been obtained by Fairfax newspapers.

'Intolerant' parents push special needs child out of Knox school

A CHILD with Asperger’s syndrome could be forced out of a Wantirna Catholic school by the actions of some parents.

Devout Catholic parents Emily and Mark Jones just wanted to give their son Ed a Catholic education, but are considering removing him from St Luke’s Primary School after what they say has been a campaign of intolerance from some school parents and students.

They will urgently meet with the school this week, but in the meantime are meeting principals of two other schools at which they are considering enrolling him.

Autistic kids under siege

JEAN-Marie Hetu was forced to pull his nine-year-old autistic son out of an eastern suburbs school because his child was being bullied and teachers were struggling to support his disability.
The Mitcham man said his son, Jean-Louis, has now been home-schooled for 12 months.

``He now produces art to the level of his age group, when upon leaving school all he could do is smother paint,’’ Mr Hetu said.

``... It is not blaming the other children, it is not blaming the school staff, but there needs to be more awareness and understanding of autism.’‘

National position: appropriate education for students with ASD

In April 2010, Australia's Autism Month, the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders (AAB ASD) launched its position paper on Education and Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia: The provision of appropriate educational services for school-age students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia.

The Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders calls for educational services for school-aged Australian children and adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that are governed by the following principles:

    Autism rates soaring among Queensland school children

    The Courier-Mail, April 09, 2010

    AUTISM rates are at an all-time high in Queensland schoolchildren, with concerns over higher levels in mining and farming communities.

    More than 2 per cent of state school students – nearly 10,000 – were classified last year as having autism spectrum disorder. Education Queensland believes it is the highest number ever to have been diagnosed with ASD in state schools.

    It follows concerns the disorder is being overdiagnosed to gain funding for students whose real disability does not attract money under departmental guidelines.

    Mum: 'I cured my son's Autism with diet'

    In Australia around 1 in 120 children are diagnosed with Autism.

    It's a condition very little is know about.

    Now, some mothers of autistic children and some doctors say Autism, as well as other disorders such as ADD/ADHD, are treatable through diet, nutritional supplements and the removal of toxins.

    After 3 days without casein (wheat and dairy), gluten, soy and corn, amazing results have been discovered in children previously showing signs of autism.

    Hackers hit charity donation site

    PAUL BIBBY, March 20, 2010

    THE internet services of two autism support organisations have been crashed by computer hackers and a third may also have fallen victim, raising fears of a targeted attack to coincide with autism month.

    Austism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT), the country's autism service provider, is losing hundreds of dollars in online donations each day after its website was hit by hackers early on Sunday.

    The hackers closed web forums, a group email service and registration pages for events.

    Outrage over Seven Hills West Public School putting autistic children in cage

    By Lisa Martin, From: AAP, March 11, 2010 6:01PM

    • Autistic children kept in fenced area
    • Treatment inhumane, says NSW Opposition
    • Matter of safety, says Education Department

    A SYDNEY primary school that pens children with autism in a fenced area at lunchtimes should be investigated for human rights violations, the New South Wales Opposition says.

    Parents with children at Seven Hills West Public School are angry that pupils with special needs are placed inside a fenced enclosure that has one tree, a bench and a dirt floor.

    Court says thimerosal did not cause autism

    By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID (AP)

    WASHINGTON — The vaccine additive thimerosal is not to blame for autism, a special federal court ruled Friday in a long-running battle by parents convinced there is a connection.

    While expressing sympathy for the parents involved in the emotionally charged cases, the court concluded they had failed to show a connection between the mercury-containing preservative and autism.

    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:

    Tasmania Libs make autism/ASD an election issue

    ABC Tasmania website

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    The Opposition also announced $4.5 million to deliver autism services to children.

    "We can provide them with 20 or 30 hours per week of very, very serious intervention strategies," said Liberal health spokesman, Brett Whiteley.

    from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/14/2819118.htm

    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.

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