Senate Inquiry into Special Disability Trusts - final report

The Senate Inquiry into Special Disability Trusts published its report entitled Building trust: Supporting families through Disability Trusts (see The report is quite short (56 pages). It provides 14 recommendations.

Unlocking The Inner-Savant In All Of Us

We are all capable of the extraordinary savant skills displayed by people with autism according to Professor Allan Snyder, speaking at the Royal Society today. Snyder argues that it is our inbuilt expectations of the world that stop us from using them.

Prof Snyder spoke on the savant syndrome and his efforts to 'turn on' autistic savant skills in people who don't have autism at a discussion meeting jointly organised by the Royal Society and the British Academy. Snyder is director of the Centre for the Mind at the University of Sydney, Australia.

the Bercow Review: NAS response

The Bercow review, published today, has confirmed what many parents of children with autism have been telling us: provision for children with speech, language and communication needs is inadequate and must improve.

We strongly welcome Bercow's crucial emphasis on early identification and intervention and support his call for an assessment process and better speech and language services. It is also imperative that parents get the right support to understand both the needs of their child and what help is available to them.

UN co-chairs autism awareness campaign

The United Nations today co-launched a conference on autism designed to promote quicker intervention, more compassion and greater acceptance of those afflicted.

“Not too long ago, those affected by autism-related disorders were set aside: placed in institutions or dismissed as untreatable ‘lost cases’,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s wife, Ban Soon-taek, who co-sponsored the event with First Ladies Laura Bush of the United States and Dorrit Moussaieff of Iceland.

Helping Children with Autism - frequently asked questions

  • Who will the initiatives help?
  • My child is over six years old, can I still access the services under the Helping Children with Autism package?
  • What other support is available to families and carers of children with an Autism Specific Disorder?
  • When will the services be available?

Cancellation of Controversial Autism Study Causes Both Relief and Outrage

A federal health agency has dropped plans for a controversial autism study, pleasing many scientists but disappointing some families with autistic children. The study would have tested a treatment called chelation, which removes heavy metals from the body and is used to treat lead poisoning.

Autism's cost


The perplexing disorder of autism continues to take its toll on children, families and society as a whole. Things are likely to get worse.

Autism is a serious subject, not only for families with autistic children but for the entire nation. The numbers are startling — and alarming. Let's begin right here at home: As of last month there were 424 students officially designated as autistic attending Frederick County Public Schools. Add to that number those who are being educated outside the public schools and many more who exhibit some autistic-like symptoms.

Helping Children with Autism package

MACKLIN: Thanks very much everyone, for being here, with my Parliamentary Secretary, Bill Shorten, we're very pleased to be here at Malkara School today. If I can thank the Principal, Jenny, and all the other staff who are here today, and particularly for having us meet and play with the children, to really get a feel for the very, very important work that they're doing. We're very pleased today to be able to announce the detail of the funding for improved services for children with autism.

Special Disability Trusts

On 21/5, a Senate Committee wrote to A4 …

The Senate has referred to the Committee matters relating to Special Disability Trusts for inquiry and report by 18 September 2008. The terms of reference for the inquiry are attached and are also accessible on the Committee's website at as well as Part 3.18A of the Social Security Act 1991 referred to in the terms of reference.

Foster's sacks autistic worker over YouTube jokes

Tuck Thompson, September 08, 2008 12:00AM

AN autistic online comedian has been sacked from his job at the Foster's Yatala brewery for making YouTube videos that offended his employers.

Packager Karl Tilcock, who lives in Windaroo and supports a wife and two autistic children, performs offbeat humour as a hobby under the name AustDingo. One of his fans, Sydney resident Raul Isidro, has slammed Foster's for its "unAustralian" reaction.
AustDingo's YouTube channel (beware coarse language)

Labor accused of copying autism policy

The Federal Government has accused Labor of 'me too-ism' by announcing its policy to help autistic children on the same day as the Coalition's.

As the phoney election campaign rolls along, both sides have spent the week courting the health vote.

Today, the Government unveiled a $190 million package to tackle childhood autism.

About $21 million of that will go towards a new Medicare item for the diagnosis of autism and early intervention treatment for children with the disability.

Howard pledges $190m for autism

Annabel Stafford and Carol Nader, October 4, 2007

THE health bidding war continued yesterday as Prime Minister John Howard trumped Labor's pitch for the parental vote with a $190 million plan to help children with autism.

Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd was forced to match the Government policy, which dwarfed the ALP's own pledge to set up at least six autism-specific child-care centres.

Howard, Rudd unveil autism plans

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 03/10/2007
Reporter: Hayden Cooper

Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd have both promised to increase funding for autism sufferers if elected to government.


TONY JONES: Well, there were some glaring similarities between Kevin Rudd and John Howard today as they both rushed to improve the lives of autistic Australians. The leaders were both on the hustings in Queensland, a crucial state in which the coalition stronghold is under threat.


Subscribe to News/Announcements