2015 Wrap - The Year in Numbers

From all of us at Autism CRC, we wish you a very safe and happy holiday season.  As 2015 comes to a close, we have reviewed the year in numbers:

  • 43 research projects are underway across our three research programs in diagnosis, education and adulthood.  
  • 8 projects are currently being finalised and we look forward to updating you on the results of these projects early next year.
  • Our 51 Participants, together with other collaborators, across Australia and internationally are working together to transform the lives of people on the autism spectrum.
  • ...

Outgrowing Autism? A Closer Look at Children Who Read Early or Speak Late

Some of these children may never have had autism in the first place, despite being diagnosed with it

The headlines read “New study suggests autism can be outgrown”, or “outgrowing autism: a doctor’s surprise and wonder.” The stories are based on studies reporting that 7-9% of children with a documented early autistic syndrome disorder (ASD) have no symptoms of the disorder on follow-up later in childhood or adolescence. That is good news. The question is how to account for it.

Is it possible to simply “outgrow” autism? Was the initial diagnosis wrong? Did some interventions work? Or might there be other explanations for this welcome news?

Huntfield Heights AEIOU Foundation Centre under investigation over claims of assault involving two children

THE state’s largest specialist childcare facility for autistic children is at the centre of a police and Child Protection Service investigation into allegations of assault involving two young children.

Two female staff at the Huntfield Heights AEIOU Foundation Centre are on extended leave while the investigations are under way.

The police probe is being conducted by the family violence investigation branch in the South Coast CIB, and detectives are working closely with Flinders Medical Centre’s Child Protection Service.

Senate committee calls for royal commission into disability abuse

A Senate committee has found a royal commission is needed into the abuse of people with disabilities, after a parliamentary inquiry heard "shocking" and "cruel" examples of violence and neglect around Australia. 

The report, by the Senate's community affairs committee, found that while there are no clear national statistics on the prevalence of violence against people with disability, there is "overwhelming anecdotal evidence". 

Conversations about autism need to include people like me

Amy Smith​

When it was reported that a Blacktown mother had been accused of chaining her autistic son to a bed, chief executive of Autism Awareness Australia Nicole Rogerson urged the community to show compassion to the mother for her desperate situation.

"I am the parent of a child with autism, so I obviously view it that way, and I think there's a bigger story here. I don't think it's black and white. I think we should be grown up enough to have a wider conversation," Rogerson said.

estimates of autism prevalence in the USA 2014 are 2.24% or 1 in 45

In the USA, another report shows autism rates of 2.24% or 1 in 45: see http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr08...

These latest values bring the results of three national surveys of autism prevalence into alignment. In addition to the NHIS, the US also identifies autism prevalence values from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM) and the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). The most recent results from the NSCH put autism prevalence at 1 in 50 children. This latest NHIS prevalence of 1 in 45 converges on that finding, and the agreement among the studies strengthens their conclusions.

see http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywilling...

and

CEDAW: autistic women and mothers

Presentation by Monique Blakemore to CEDAW, United Nations 30th October 2015 

Autistic women are a marginalised sector of the worlds largest minority group, the disabled community. There is an estimated 51,870,000 autistic women worldwide, a similar population to England.

Autistic women are subjected to systemic disadvantage in most areas of their lives. Autistic women experience exclusion socially, in education, in their personal lives, in the judicial system and in access to healthcare. Autistic leadership, exemplified by organizations such as Autism Women Matter, the Scottish Women’s Autism Network (SWAN) and Alliance Autiste, is necessary to challenge stigma and discrimination. 

Real, effective, and meaningful participation of autistic people, regardless of gender, is encapsulated in the phrase ‘nothing about us without us’ and is the aim of the autistic rights movement. Representation of autistic people by groups and individuals is frequently unfunded and unsupported. Unfortunately, ‘tokenism’, which is the illusion of consultation, is over-representative of the autistic advocacy experience. Autistic voices can be crowded out by those of professionals and parent caregivers that love and support us, but may see autism through their own experience. 

Behavioural needs of autistic Australians must be met

A range of initiatives are needed to address autism in Australia, the cost of which to the budget has been put at at least $20 billion a year.

The recent case of an autistic child being sent to a purpose-built cage in a classroom caused international outrage, but teachers are ill-prepared to access professional support when a student needs it, Bob Buckley writes.

TasWeeked: A different way of being

SALLY GLAETZER

KEELAN Law likes reading National Geographic, watching Mr Bean and creating spreadsheets on the computer. He likes his cappuccinos half-strength and extra frothy. Most of all, he loves ice-skating.

The 19-year-old has severe autism. Until recently, he struggled to communicate his basic needs and desires, even to those closest to him.

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