US CDC reports autism rate is 1 in 68 (2010 data)

A recent media release (see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0327-autism-spectrum-disorder.html ) says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children (or 14.7 per 1,000 eight-year-olds) in multiple communities in the United States has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This new estimate is roughly 30 percent higher than previous estimates reported in 2012 of 1 in 88 children (11.3 per 1,000 eight year olds) being identified with an autism spectrum disorder. The number of children identified with ASD ranged from 1 in 175 children in Alabama to 1 in 45 children in New Jersey.

Note that recent (2012) Australian data on the prevalence of ASD shows 1 in 62 children in this country have a diagnosis ... see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/695 and http://a4.org.au/a4/node/622 There is nothing to celebrate in rising autism rates because people who are properly diagnosed with autism have significant disability that "requires support".

National disability scheme is excluding people affected by autism


Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme's (NDIS) Operational Guidelines – Access are dysfunctional in relation to autism spectrum disorder. The NDIS fails many people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), denying them the services and supports they need. People with ASD are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Australia. The Government is not giving people with ASD a fair go.

The message is simple. Government needs to act to support people with ASD and to improve their outcomes. The NDIS eligibility criteria are designed to exclude some people with autism spectrum disorder from the NDIS, people who are assessed as needing disability services by allied health professionals with specific expertise in ASD. And for those people with ASD who are deemed eligible for the NDIS service and support, NDIS individual planners (gatekeepers), who mostly lack expertise in and understanding of autism, reject some requests for essential disability services and supports. Following is the evidence and justification for this simple claim that the NDIS, the scheme created to address the enormous disadvantage that Australians with a disability experience, in its initial implementation is failing people with ASD.

right to education for a child with disability being decided in NZ

The NZ High Court "found that Green Bay High School in Auckland was not justified in excluding a student with Asperger's syndrome, following a row he had with a teacher." [see article]. This may not be over yet.

I am not a lawyer and I do not know NZ law. I know that under international law, paragraph 3 in Article 23 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRoC) says every child has a right to "education, training, health care services, rehabilitation services [and] preparation for employment" ... and that "the state" is ultimately responsible for ensuring this happens. Specifically, in relation to children with a disability, the CRoC says ...

... assistance ... shall be provided free of charge ... and shall be designed to ensure that the disabled child has effective access to and receives education, training, health care services, rehabilitation services, preparation for employment and recreation opportunities in a manner conducive to the child's achieving the fullest possible social integration and individual development ...

Medical Journal - Autism spectrum disorder: A guide for physicians to help families

Increased awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is placing huge demands on health care systems and health care professionals to help children and their families cope with the disorder. A comprehensive evidence-based review published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) aims to help physicians provide appropriate medical support to families of children with ASD, from detection to treatment.

Susan Boyle diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome

Susan Boyle: diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. Photo: Getty Images

Scottish singer Susan Boyle has revealed that she has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.

Boyle, a 52-year-old church volunteer who became a global singing sensation, told Britain's Observer newspaper she had been diagnosed a year ago and spoke of her relief after years of bullying for her learning difficulties.

I think people will treat me better because they will have a much greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do.

"It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid," she said.

We Belong: Aspect reports on adults with Asperger's Disorder and "high functioning autism" in Australia


Warning: this material is depressing

Autism Spectrum Australia released a report on the lives of adults with autism spectrum disorder but without intellectual disability, a group of vulnerable citizens who are often/routinely denied appropriate and necessary services and supports.

NDIS: reverts to original name ... slowly and cheaply


The Coalition in line with its pre-election commitment has directed that DisabilityCare resume its original name of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The return to NDIS has two purposes. The first is to leave behind a name that was seen by many people with disability as patronising and not reflecting the intent of the scheme to have the individual at the centre and in charge.

People with disability don't so much want to be cared for as supported to be as independent as they can.

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