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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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

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.

advocacy and charitable status

The recent Federal Court decision in the matter Commissioner of Taxation v Aid/Watch Incorporated 2009 says
that an advocacy and lobbying organisation, such as A4, cannot be seen as a charitable for tax purposes.

Such a decision has major implications about how advocacy groups operate.

Here are some links to commentary on the issue ...

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.


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