Support for Carers of Children with Autism 'isn't there': Autism Awareness Australia

A family of four, including two children with "significant disabilities", were found dead in a home in Sydney's northern beaches, in what police have described as a "tragic" and "horrific" event.

Colombian born Maria Claudia Lutz and her husband Fernando Manrique were found dead in their home in the suburb of Davidson, in an apparent murder-suicide.

Also dead were their two children, 11-year old Elisa and 10-year old Martin.

Both suffered from autism.

People with a disability in Canberra left in NDIS limbo as ACT waits for a new deal

More than 1000 Canberrans with a disability are at risk of missing out on National Disability Insurance Scheme support as the Territory and federal governments argue over which government should fund more places after a target of 5075 people was reached last month.

While the scheme was originally promised to be delivered to all Australians with a permanent and severe disability, it seems funding for places was capped at the 5075 "target" built into the original deal between the ACT and federal governments; a figure reached at the end of last month.

2000 sufferers shut out of NDIS in the ACT

, Social Affairs reporter

The future of the $22 billion Nation­al Disability Insurance Scheme has been thrown into ­crisis after as many as 2000 people with serious mental health conditions and disabilities were shut out of the program in the ACT, the first jurisdiction to fully adopt the new model.

The territory scheme reached its “target” of 5075 clients within hours of full rollout on September 30. Newly eligible people have been turned away and told to wait for a vacancy, which is typically only available when someone in the NDIS dies.

The ACT is a test case for what experts say is likely to happen when the scheme in other states reaches maturity in 2019-20.

National Disability Insurance Scheme accused of blocking participants despite being uncapped

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is being accused of blocking people from taking part in the program, despite it being uncapped.

The ACT Government said the Commonwealth agency rolling out the NDIS had told people in Canberra with disabilities it would not meet with them.

It was originally estimated 5,075 people in the territory would eventually be eligible for the scheme. That number has already been reached.

NDIA stopped accepting new NDIS participants in the Australian Capital Territory

The National Disability Insurance Agency has reportedly stopped accepting new NDIS participants on to the Scheme in the Australian Capital Territory. The halt was shared on Facebook by ACT advocacy service ADACAS, which noted it had a number of people impacted by the stop work.

How Shakespeare may help children with autism improve their social skills

Could Shakespeare help children with autism improve their social skills? A new study of a drama-based intervention suggests that this may well be the case.

Researchers from Ohio State University found that a novel method using Shakespeare's The Tempest – which combines recitation of The Bard's language with physical gestures – lead to improvements in communication skills and recognition of facial expressions, in young people with autism.

In care for 17 years, Centrelink still told Andrew to prove he deserved pension

A man with severe disabilities who has been in state care since 1999, was ordered by Centrelink to prove his eligibility for a disability pension.

Andrew Johnson was diagnosed with profound autism when he was four and went into a Department of Human Services-managed group home when he was 13.

The 30-year-old cannot speak, has autism, Tourette syndrome, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, epilepsy, and needs a stomach tube to help him feed. 

NZ: Children locked in dark 'cell like' room at school

Kirsty Johnston

Children were repeatedly locked in a darkened, cell-like room at a primary school as punishment for bad behaviour.

Education officials launched an investigation at Miramar Central School in Wellington after a behaviour therapist found a 11-year-old disabled boy alone and distraught in the cupboard-sized room, with no way to get out.

Man shamed online for 'harassing young Asian women' on a Melbourne tram is revealed to have autism - as other passengers say he 'just likes getting high fives from strangers'

  • Melbourne woman confronted man on train for intimidating passengers
  • The woman took a photo of the man she claimed was harassing women
  • She claimed she stared the man down and posted the photo on Facebook
  • But the man is reportedly autistic and simply loves to high-five strangers
  • He reportedly received countless death threats and verbal assaults online 

Gender stereotypes have made us horrible at recognizing autism in women and girls

In August, the National Autistic Society called on medical professionals to change the way they diagnose women and girls with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Ever since the term autism was first coined by Hans Asperger in 1944, it has remained predominantly, if anecdotally, associated with men and boys. As a result, women with the condition may be being overlooked, even as the public becomes increasingly aware of its existence.

What happens when people with autism grow old?

Rebecca Ann Charlton, Goldsmiths, University of London

If you mention autism to most people they will think about children, but it is a lifelong diagnosis. Children with autism grow up to be adults with autism. Little is known about how the symptoms change with age. This is because autism is a relatively new disorder, first described in 1943 and not regularly identified until the 1970s. It is only now that those people first diagnosed are reaching older age that we can start to learn whether the disorder changes over a lifetime.

There have been some suggestions that symptoms may reduce as people get older. These reports, describing fewer difficulties with older age, are often from people with autism themselves and from their families. But how much evidence is there for this? Our latest research provides some answers, and also raises some new questions.

Submission to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory 
PO Box 4215,
Kingston ACT 2604



Dear Commissioners

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) is a national grassroots organisation advocating for autistic people (people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder – ASD).

This submission is about more than autism; it is about Australia’s general lack of expertise and services for people with challenging behaviour.

Older parents at higher risk of having children with autism

Jill Margo

Parents who reproduce later in life are more likely to have children who develop autism disorders, according to a large Danish study.

Over the past 30 years numerous studies assessing the effect of late reproduction have produced variable results, often due to substantial differences in study design.

Now researchers from the Copenhagen Centre for Social Evolution have used a very large sample to try to settle the issue.

They conducted a deep analysis of 1.7 million children born in Denmark between 1978 and 2009.

NDIS backs study seeking uniform autism diagnoses

A detailed commentary on this article is provided below ... 

Autism diagnoses will be subject to the first nationally consistent set of standards to iron out “substantial” variability in medical approaches which has contributed to a dramatic increase in the number of people, especially children, being treated for the condition.

The number of people diagnosed with autism in Australia ­almost doubled between 2003 and 2006, and has doubled every three years since, to 115,000 in 2012. New data, when it is finalised, is expected to show that more than 230,000 have autism.

The $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme with the Co-operative Research Centre for Living with Autism — a conglomerate of institutions — commissioned a study which will inform new guidelines, led by University of Western Australia professor Andrew Whitehouse.

Australia’s First National Guideline for Autism Diagnosis

A major study has been launched to develop Australia’s first national diagnostic guideline for autism led by The Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC).

There is strong evidence of substantial variability in autism assessment processes between clinicians, between states and between rural and metropolitan areas. This is leading to delays in diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and inequity in access to services.

Commissioned under a collaboration between Autism CRC and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), a national guideline will ensure that each individual across Australia has knowledge of, and access to, best practice in autism diagnosis.

The project will be led by Professor Andrew Whitehouse (Director of the Autism CRC Diagnosis Research Program), in conjunction with Clinical Associate Professor John Wray, Professor Margot Prior, Professor Valsamma Eapen and Kiah Evans.

'Sex education leaves children with autism open to exploitation', warns Cambridge academic

Children with autism are left vulnerable to exploitation by sex education lessons in schools, a Cambridge specialist has warned.

Psychologist Steven Stagg, of Anglia Ruskin University, has called for specialist sessions for pupils with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), after a study found they were in dire need of extra support.

Paediatrician who hogtied seven-year-old beats assault charge

A GOLD COAST paediatrician who hogtied a seven-year-old patient has been acquitted of assaulting the boy on appeal.

Neville Goodwin Davis was last year found guilty in Southport Magistrates Court of assaulting the child during an October 2012 consultation during which he tied the boy up with rope.

Dr Davis specialised in behavioural conditions and had been consulted by the boy's mother to see if he had Asperger Syndrome.

He said he initially tied the boy to a chair to occupy him so he could talk to the mother

NDIS verdict: daunting but worth it

Rachel Browne 

In most ways, Jordanne Taylor is a typical year 9 student. The 15-year-old loves dancing, cooking and spending time with girls her own age, watching movies and just hanging out.

Until recently, these simple activities were not always easy to organise for Jordanne, who has a mild intellectual disability and is on the autism disorder spectrum.

So when the National Disability Insurance Scheme became available, Jordanne's mother Debra Taylor immediately realised the potential it could unlock for her daughter.

Outrage as autistic boy is chained to a chair using a weighted belt and ankle straps during school lessons to 'keep him under control'

  • Mother claims her autistic son is restrained at NSW Mid North Coast school
  • The mother posted pictures of the chairs and complained on Facebook
  • She said the boy, aged six, is locked into a chair with a weighted seat belt
  • The chair also has ankle straps and a box to restrain his feet
  • He also allegedly is put in a 'weighted vest' during class-time
  • The boy suffers non-verbal autism and intellectual impairment, she said


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