Australia

Autism support groups warn of looming national high school crisis

Autism support groups have warned of an impending national crisis, as growing numbers of children diagnosed with autism reach high school age, with few options for specialised education and public schools with a dramatic shortage of trained staff.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Finding the right school for a child with autism can be difficult and frustrating for parents, and it's even harder when students reach high school.

Some families resort to home-schooling or teenagers may drop out altogether.

Coalition government must commit to a royal commission into violence & abuse of people with disability

Media release

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) commends the Senate for approving the motion last Thursday, from Green’s Senator Jordon Steele-John, to establish a Royal Commission (RC) into violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of people with disability in institutional and wider community settings across Australia.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten personally pledged his and the ALP’s commitment to a Royal Commission back in 2017, which we also commend. This has been followed up with an election promise of $26 million to get the Commission going; the ALP also supported the recent Senate motion along with others from the crossbench.

Why schools desperately need a royal commission into the abuse of disabled people

David Roy, University of Newcastle

On Monday, the federal parliament agreed on a motion to support a royal commission into the abuse of disabled people. This is a good thing, but we still need a timeline, terms of reference and a whole lot more detail.

This commission has been a long time coming. The stories we’ve heard over the last few years in the media have been devastating, such as a child with a disability being stripped naked and locked in a closet. We can expect the stories that will be revealed over the course of this royal commission to be similarly hard to hear.

letter: NDIS support is inadequate for autistic participants

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) wrote to Minister Fletcher and NDIS officials saying A4 is concerned that NDIS support for autistic participants is often inadequate.

Table E.10 in the NDIS Y6Q1 Quarterly Report shows again that close to 29% of NDIS participants are autistic. Figure E-5 from the report and a similar figure from The Australian (see both figures below) indicate to us that for autistic participants:

Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Result puts autism front and centre

Katie Sutherland, Western Sydney University

Review: The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion


Genetics Professor Don Tillman is having flashbacks. He’s remembering the time he spent in the principal’s office as a kid in Shepparton, Victoria. The time he spent learning to ride his sister’s bike, much later than was socially acceptable. The time he spent “regarding the majority of the human race as another species”.

Teachers need more professional development to support anxiety in students with autism

Professional development is needed to increase teacher knowledge about anxiety-related behaviours in students with autism after a Griffith University study found teachers report that they would respond differently to students with and without autism.

The study, published in the journal, Research in Developmental Disabilities, found that teachers report being more likely to use responses for children with autism that may increase the child’s anxiety levels in the long-term, such as over-protection or avoidance.

Neurodiversity: a different take on the autism tale

Jane McCredie

A FEW years ago, I attended a medical conference that was different from any other I’ve been to; alongside the doctors and researchers were large numbers of patients and their families, not just in the audience but on stage as well.

It may have happened, but I haven’t seen people with heart failure speak to their lived experience at a cardiology conference, or patients with arthritis giving presentations at a rheumatology conference.

High levels of distress and depression in young people on autism spectrum

    About one in every 150 Australian children will be affected by autism [editorial: the diagnosis rate for Australian children was more than 1 in 40 in 2018], with boys more likely to have it than girls.

    It's what's called a spectrum disorder, where the symptoms depend on where you sit on the spectrum.

    And while we know some things about managing and supporting children with autism spectrum disorder, a lot less is known about how it can affect the mental health of those who have it.

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