Australia

Autism CRC: draft national guidelines on ASD diagnosis wants community consultation

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The diagnostic process for children, adolescents and adults referred for assessment of autism spectrum disorder in Australia: National guideline draft for community consultation

Background

There is currently no consistent process across Australia for how an individual is assessed for a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This inconsistency has led to uneven service provision across the Australian states and territories, along with confusion within the community about the diagnostic process. The aim of this guideline is to define a diagnostic assessment process that is acceptable to consumers, feasible to conduct, effective in delivering accurate diagnostic decisions, and comprehensive in guiding future clinical management.

National autism diagnosis guidelines to make 'big difference for women on the spectrum'

Nance Haxton

National guidelines to help diagnose people with autism have been drafted for the first time in Australia by a team of experts.

The guidelines are the culmination of a year of research, and are designed to overcome the wide variation in diagnosis methods used between states and territories.

Autism guide aims to set national mark

Rick Morton

The first set of national standards governing the diagnosis of autism was released yesterday for public consultation, part of a years-long plan to eradicate big variances in methods and rates of the condition.

Lead researcher Andrew Whitehouse said he hoped the guidelines would be adopted nat­ionwide to standardise diagnostic methods and that one day they would become mandated.

Almost a third of autistic people have special abilities

Nance Haxton

Up to three times more people with autism have special talents or "savant" abilities than previously thought.

Researchers from Autism Spectrum Australia have found that identifying and nurturing that special talent at an early age is crucial in ultimately helping people with autism find a meaningful job later in life.

Changing employers' perceptions of autism from focussing on the deficits to the advantages of being on the spectrum is also key.

I sent my autistic son to Africa to boost his independence and it worked

Benison O'Reilly

When my autistic son Sam was 14 I decided to send him to Africa. The objective of the journey was to take Sam out of his comfort zone and expose him to new experiences in the hope this would provide a boost to his communication and life skills and give him a shot in the arm of independence. His dad went with him.

Australian Story: how exposing children with autism to risk can teach them resilience and life skills

father and son in African countryside

David Trembath

Last night’s ABC Australian Story episode featuring Sam and James Best’s journey through Africa illustrates the lengths parents will go to in supporting their children on the autism spectrum to reach their full potential.

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