Children diagnosed with autism early more likely to attend mainstream schools

Lucie van den Berg

MOST Australian children are not diagnosed with ­autism until they are four, but new evidence highlights the importance of an early ­diagnosis.

Findings from two new studies reveal children diagnosed with the neurodevelopmental condition when they were two years old were more likely to attend mainstream primary schools.

They also had better ­cognitive and language skills when they were seven to nine years old than those diagnosed later.

2017 was a ‘Dismal’ Year for Human Rights in Australia

Luke Michael

2017 was a “dismal” year for human rights in Australia, according to a report card which found the country significantly lagged behind in areas including disability rights, Indigenous rights and the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum.

The 2017 Human Rights Report Card from Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) graded Australia in a number of areas and also graded each state and territory, with mixed results.

Early intervention is key to support students with anxiety about starting university

young woman looking anxious

Learning how to manage anxiety takes time and practice, so it’s not helpful to wait until stress levels are at a peak before seeking help. 



Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Macquarie University

Editor: this isn't about autism specifically but it may help some people on the spectrum.

Roughly ;one in five students drop out of university in Australia in their first year. Students with prior emotional difficulties, who are doing their degrees part-time, mature age at entry, or from a lower socioeconomic status background are most likely to be in this category.

disappointing NDIS response on early intervention for autistic children

statue of naked disappointed man

Dear Minister and Assistant Minister

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, known as A4, recently received a very inadequate response (MC17-001434) to our emails to you dated 5/11/2017 and 11/12/2017. Our emails to you expressed extensive concerns about the NDIS and specifically its approach to early intervention for autistic children.

Ms Christine Faulkner, General Manager of the NDIS, says: “The Assistant Minister has asked me to reply to you on her behalf”.

The result must be so disheartening for you. Ms Faulkner’s response to us, on your behalf, is so disappointing for a collection of reasons.

Government's response on NDIS and early intervention for autistic children 20/12/2017


There are supports that are unable to be provided under the NDIS, as they are the responsibility of other service systems. These systems and their responsibilities are outlined in the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Principles to Determine the Responsibility of the NDIS and other Service Systems. These principles were agreed to by respective jurisdictions and the Commonwealth. More information about the COAG principles that govern the NDIS can be found at:

Paraquat poisoning: Weedkiller drunk by autistic man meant to be 'under lock and key', chemical company says

An Australian chemical manufacturer has rejected calls for a ban or tightening of restrictions around the use of a highly toxic herbicide which poisoned a young man with autism on the New South Wales Central Coast.

Damien Terry, 21, accidently drank the commercial weedkiller — known as paraquat — from a soft drink bottle he found in a disabled toilet at the Mangrove Mountain sports complex in August.

Don Burke, you owe me, and everybody else with Asperger's, an apology

Daniel Andrusiak

I am a 29-year-old man with Asperger's syndrome. I am independent, live in Caulfield North with a housemate and commute every day to a full-time job in the western suburbs of Melbourne. I am also a keen scriptwriter, football fan, have a girlfriend and speak German and a little bit of French, among other things. This is just to give some background as to who I am.


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