News/Announcements

Schoolgirls with autism share experiences in young adult novel

M in the Middle draws on ups and downs of Limpsfield Grange schoolgirls’ lives and how autism is different for girls

A novel told from the point of view of a teenage girl with autism, written by schoolgirls with autism, has been published after the students – frustrated by their experience of a world that rejects and ignores them – decided to take matters into their own hands.

"It's like a five-year-old wrote it": disability advocates slam NDIS care plans

Miki Perkins

When Jessica Eshel heard a new national disability scheme was coming, she vowed to advocate on behalf of her sister Antonella, 41, who has an intellectual and other complex disabilities.

She pored over NDIS brochures, went to information sessions and spoke to the carers at Antonella's group home about the kind of support she needed to live a full, happy life.

$6m drain from NDIS

State, families cry foul over funding

Ashley Argoon

ALMOST $6 million has been stripped from the trouble-plagued National Disability Insurance Scheme in its rollout in Victoria, the State Government has claimed.

The families of Victorians with disabilities have accused the Commonwealth of harmful cost-cutting and of treating their vulnerable loved ones “appallingly”.

Under the new $22 billion NDIS, which is currently being rolled out in five areas north-east of Melbourne, people with disabilities will get funding based on their individual needs rather than through block funding to service providers.

But there are complaints that individual plans for care have been fast-tracked without contribution from the clients or their families.

School sends students to ‘naughty classroom’

Parents are outraged children with special or behavioural needs at Lightning Reef Primary School have been put into a new “naughty-naughty classroom” and can no longer have play breaks with other students.

The parents say their children were exposed to violence when the new arrangements started this week.

At least one family has withdrawn their daughter from the school, saying she was “too scared” to return to the classroom.

Study offers potential breakthrough in care of children with autism

 Health editor

Symptoms improve after parents are trained to better understand and interact with preschool children, researchers say.

A new form of therapy has for the first time been shown to improve the symptoms and behaviour of autistic children, offering a potential breakthrough in care for millions of families.

ASD, early intervention and the NDIS

With a recent video, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) released a bit of information about its NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach as it affects autistic children. Regrettably, The NDIS ECEI Approach falls well short of best practice early intervention (EI) for autistic children.

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, a national grass-roots ASD advocacy group known as A4, applauds the NDIA’s intention to help children with disability into EI as quickly as possible. However, A4 is concerned that the NDIS ECEI Approach:

  • avoids diagnoses and does not recognise the distinct nature of ASD and the distinct needs of autistic children;
  • does not provide the impartial and comprehensive advice that parents need so they can make informed choices about EI for their autistic children;

  • rejects expert advice that autistic children need intensive individualised ASD-specific and comprehensive EI; and

  • diverts families from effective (evidence-based best practice) EI for their autistic children.

Reconsider your perception of autism, pleads mother of two autistic children

I am a 43-year-old autistic wife and mother to two beautiful autistic children. Our family is what I like to describe as ‘neurodivergent’: our brain and thought process is different to others based on our genetic make up. So it was with shock and disbelief when I learned that four people from the one family had died on Monday 17 October in Davidson, NSW. 

Autism Speaks No Longer Seeking Cure

For the first time, the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization has revamped its agenda and one notable objective is no more.

Autism Speaks’ board of directors voted in late September to modify the organization’s mission statement, marking the first such change since the nonprofit was established in 2005.

The new iteration is shorter and strikes a markedly different tone. Gone are terms like “struggle,” “hardship” and “crisis.” Also absent is any mention of seeking a cure for the developmental disorder.

Stress, despair in care of children with autism

They say that the mother of a child with autism experiences a level of stress comparable to that of a combat soldier.

Grace Fava certainly did.

Her two boys, now aged 15 and 13, were diagnosed with autism at the ages of three and two respectively and the family plunged into near-constant crisis, including a three-year period of faeces smearing and several terrifying occasions when they escaped naked from the windows.

"In the early days it was horrendous," Ms Fava said.

NDIS Board Recruiter must be replaced

Media Release: 19 October 2016

“NDIS Board Recruiter must be replaced after failing to offer up a single candidate with either a disclosed disability or lived experience of disability.” said Trevor Carroll, President of Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) and spokesperson for Disability Australia.

NFPs Demand ACT NDIS Shutdown Be Reversed

Disability advocacy organisations across the country have united to call on the state and federal governments to work together to reverse the “shutdown” of the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the ACT.

The move comes after it emerged more than 1,000 people with a disability in the ACT are at risk of missing out on the scheme after the National Disability Insurance Agency stated there would be no new participants in the territory.

ACT NDIS places assured by Federal Assist Minister Social Services Jane Prentis

Last Friday on Drive ACT (ABC 666 Canberra) Disability advocacy groups expressed concerns about new applicants that are eligible for NDIS support being turned away.

Today (17/10/2016), Adam Shirley spoke with Federal Assistant Social Services Minister Jane Prentice, who sought to assure those who needed the NDIS services would have access.

Davidson deaths: Police confirm murder-suicide after family of four found dead in Sydney home

A family of four, including two children with autism, who were found dead in their northern Sydney home died as a result of a murder-suicide, police say.

Police said it appeared the family died of gas poisoning and are asking the public for help to discover the motive behind the deaths.

Davidson deaths: Family gassed in suspected murder suicide

THE Davidson family found dead in their home yesterday are believed to have been deliberately gassed to death with a poison that was released using devices throughout the house.

Mother Maria Claudia Lutz, 43, was found in one room with one of her children and her other child was found alone in a separate room.

Fernando Manrique’s body was found in another room in the house.

Awards for Achievement in Autism Spectrum Research

Autism CRC is very excited Awards for Achievement in Autism Spectrum Research. The first award is for best inclusive research practice and the second for best translation of autism research.

Winners of the awards will demonstrate a commitment to high quality research practices and outcomes that will truly benefit people on the spectrum.

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.

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