Australia

Joint Media Release: NDIS delivers increased pricing to support people with complex needs

People with disability with complex support needs are set to benefit from improved support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher today announced new pricing arrangements under the $22 billion scheme. 

“The pricing increase recognises that people with complex needs require higher levels of skilled supports in their NDIS plans,” Mr Fletcher said.

As a parent of two kids with autism, I've learned how much attitudes have changed

Cathy Pryor

The realisation that my son Lucien saw the world in a different light came slowly, but there were small clues along the way.

Once, when asked to describe the colour of a banana, he answered white, not yellow. (When you think about it, he could well be right: while the skin is yellow, the flesh is much paler than that.)

And then there was the endearing way he followed the squares on a rug when he was learning to walk.

National Disability Insurance Scheme builds on Helping Children with Autism success

As Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) celebrates its 10th anniversary, providers and families are looking to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to continue the important work started by the program.

HCWA was introduced by the Australian Government in 2008 to help families access crucial early intervention services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Since its introduction, HCWA has helped almost 53,000 children and their families with more than $550 million in early intervention services including social learning intervention, behaviour management, occupational therapy, speech pathology and cognitive and learning skills.

Why early diagnosis of autism should lead to early intervention

Research suggests children can be reliably diagnosed with autism before the age of two. It also shows that many of the behavioural symptoms of autism are present before the age of one.

These behaviours include decreased interest in social interaction, delayed development of speech and intentional communication, a lack of age-appropriate sound development, and unusual visual fixations.

Adults on the autism spectrum prescribed mental health drugs without diagnoses

Lachlan Gilbert

Off-label prescribing of psychotropic drugs to adults on the autism spectrum could be exposing individuals to harm.

Adults on the autism spectrum are being prescribed mental health drugs in instances where there is limited supporting evidence to do so.

This was one of the findings of a UNSW-led study that looked at the use of psychotropic medication – or medication for mental health problems – by adults on the autism spectrum.

"It’s different for girls": autistic girls face unique challenges in their relationships

A new study shows that autistic girls are not getting the support they need to help them develop their friendships.

The study’s senior co-author is Professor Liz Pellicano, an internationally renowned expert on autism based at Macquarie University.

Researchers interviewed 102 children: 27 autistic girls, 27 autistic boys, 26 neurotypical (non-autistic) girls, and 23 neurotypical boys.

Autistic and non-autistic girls described similar approaches to friendship, with a focus on developing friends who they could depend on for social and emotional support.

Study links autism to toxic air pollutants

AAP

Children aged up to three years are more at risk of developing autism when exposed to toxic air pollutants, an Australian study shows.

Young children exposed to toxic air pollutants are significantly more likely to develop autism, new Australian research reveals.

The study of nearly 1500 children in China, aged up to three years, found those exposed to fine particles from some outdoor pollutants were up to 78 per cent more likely to develop autism spectrum disorder.

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