Report

Disability report chronically underestimates ASD diagnoses

A just-released report (see PriceWaterhouseCoopers) presents a range of information supporting the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme. The paper 'Disability expectations: Investing in a better life, a stronger Australia' is "developed in collaboration with key leaders in the disability care and support field, this PwC report considers: what needs to change if the NDIS is to make a meaningful difference?" The report indicates that:

  • Australia ranks 21st out of 29 OECD countries in employment participation rates for those with a disability … People with a disability in Australia are only half (50%) as likely to be employed as people without a disability.
  • Almost one in two people with a disability in Australia live in or near poverty (45%). This is more than 2.5 times the rate of poverty experienced in the general population and more than double the OECD average of 22%. The OECD average for relative poverty risk is approximately 1.6, which indicates that people with a disability tend to have a poverty risk about 1.6 times higher than people without a disability. Australia is by far the worst performer on this indicator, ranking 27th out of 27 OECD countries, with a relative poverty risk of 2.7.

World report on disability

About 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. The global disability prevalence is higher than previous WHO estimates, which date from the 1970s and suggested a figure of around 10%. This global estimate for disability is on the rise due to population ageing and the rapid spread of chronic diseases, as well as improvements in the methodologies used to measure disability.

Report - Economic Costs of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Australia

Key findings 

This review has produced an estimate of the annual economic costs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Australia, updating a previous study completed in April 2007. 

This review has produced an updated estimate of the annual economic costs of ASD in Australia, including the burden of disease, of between $8.1 billion (low prevalence) and $11.2 billion (high prevalence), with a mid-point of $9.7 billion (all estimates are in December 2010 dollars). 

The economic value of informal care in 2010

The foreword to this report says "the value of informal care has increased to exceed $40 billion per annum in 2010, 33% higher than in 2005". It says this is based on $31 per hour replacement costs. Probably, some of the value is estimated based on conjugate/centre-based care - so better care would be more expensive.

This report is not autism/ASD specific ... but is contains valuable and relevant material.

Girls with autism or ADHD symptoms not taken seriously

When girls with symptoms of autism or ADHD seek professional medical help, their problems are often played down or misinterpreted, and there is a real risk that they will not get the help or support they need. As such, more training is needed in this area, particularly in the public sector, reveals a thesis from the University of Gothenburg.

APAC'09 Prevalence presentation

The presentation below was given at APAC'09 in Sydney. Among other things, it shows the growing number of children whose family get's Carer Allowance (that is, children who have been formally diagnosed with Autistic or Asperger's Disorders and also registered to receive Carer Allowance).

Previously, a paper on autism prevalence in Australia was published in the peer reviewed proceedings of the 2004 Biennial Australian Autism conference (see http://a4.org.au/sites/default/files/buckley_submit2.pdf).

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