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.

Wooden box built to 'calm' autistic students at day centre

Australia's largest autism service provider is under investigation after staff built a large wooden box to lock up distressed clients at a Melbourne day centre.

Disturbing images show the box was fitted with a metal lock and kept inside a classroom at Autism Spectrum Australia's (Aspect) site at Heatherton, in the city's south-east.

Massive row over NDIS autism eligibility gobbledygook

Media Release

A major dispute broke out between two autism advocates: they both described the NDIA's eligibility criteria for autistic people as “gobbledygook”, but they are at odds over who said it first.

Bob Buckley, Convenor of Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, claims Ms Louise Davies, Deputy Chief Executive Officer from Autism SA, was clearly first to call the NDIA's criteria “gobbledygook”. But Ms Davies says Mr Buckley was first (see http://a4.org.au/node/794).

Preliminary Results of the Australian Autism Educational Needs Analysis

Researchers are currently analysing data from the Autism CRC Australian Autism Educational Needs Analysis. Nationwide 1,468 respondents participated in the survey from every state of Australia and included: 

·         248 educators,

·         179 specialists,

·         107 students with autism (11 -18 years), and

·         934 parents

Advisory panel helping to improve support for Tasmanians living with autism spectrum disorder

Media Release

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Human Services 
22 September 2015

Tasmanian living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) should have every opportunity to reach their goals and to achieve their full potential.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to providing improved support for Tasmanians living with ASD, and that’s why last year we established the Autism Advisory Panel.

Victorian education department to investigate claims disabled children were locked in cages at schools

Links to more stories below ...

DAVID MARK: Victoria's education department is investigating claims that disabled children have been locked up in cages at special schools.

A school principal in Canberra lost her job for putting a boy with special needs in a cage made from pool fencing.

Disability advocates say the practice of locking up children with behavioural problems is actually commonplace in mainstream schools as well as special schools.

ACT Autism group passes no confidence motion against Joy Burch

Emma Kelly and Henry Belot

A disability support group in the ACT has passed a no confidence motion against Education Minister Joy Burch over her handling of the case of an autistic boy being put in a cage in a Canberra primary school.

The Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder group has expressed its anger at Ms Burch's treatment of the case as an "isolated incident".

In a letter penned by chairman Bob Buckley, the group has accused the ACT government of fixating on lessening damage to its image and cited concerns over the inquiry.

Autistic kids ‘tied to chairs’ at school, Senate inquiry told

Autistic children are being locked in cages, tied to chairs and shut in storerooms at school, parents have told a Senate inquiry.

One mother has alleged that a teacher at a special school threatened to cut off her son’s fingers, leaving him afraid of going to class.

Children with Disability Australia has told the Senate inquiry into students with disabilities that one unnamed school took no action­ when a boy kicked and knocked over a Year 2 girl with a disability.

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