International - Autism and the Criminal Justice System: Policy Opportunities and Challenges

By convenor |

Preventing, reducing, and improving interactions between autistic individuals and the criminal justice system are urgent research and policy priorities. Research should guide evidence-based programs and policies that limit unnecessary interactions between autistic individuals and the criminal justice system and address documented high rates of victimization among autistic individuals.

Government brings forward planned NDIS review, urges bigger focus on disability scheme's benefits

By bobb |

Evan Young and Penny Timms

A planned review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is being brought forward to this year, with the federal government promising to work alongside people with disability after a significant breakdown of trust in recent years.

Rethinking education: the programs for children too distressed to attend school

By bobb |

Sophie Black

For increasing numbers of families, school refusal is a crippling problem. But some programs are offering hope by thinking outside the box

As a year 10 coordinator in 2013, high school teacher Craig Hildebrand-Burke began to clock an increasing number of student absences at his school. As he began to contact families, he soon realised that school refusal was becoming “a major presenting issue” for the year 10 cohort at his co-ed Catholic high school in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

Readers share stories of school refusal in Australia: ‘It scarred us and changed us forever’

By bobb |

With education and mental health systems under pressure, families are experiencing distress as a result of children refusing to go to school. Here are some of their stories

Guardian Australia asked readers to share their experiences of school refusal, the commonly used term for children who are so distressed by school that they are unable to attend. Data that differentiates school refusal from other types of absences is hard to obtain, but anecdotally experiences of school refusal are rising.

Increased stress and depression in parents of autistic NDIS participants

By bobb |

A recent research publication observed:

The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has transformed the Australian funding landscape for individuals with disability and their families. This study examined whether the profiles of autistic children and their families accessing an early intervention (EI) setting have changed following its introduction.

It found that ...

The I Am, Movement designs 'culturally safe' education resources for Indigenous children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder

By bobb |

Madeleine Cross and Meredith Kirton 

When Tanika Davis's son was diagnosed with autism at just two years old, the Worimi mother was confronted with the stigma surrounding the developmental disorder, but also surprised at the lack of consideration for Slade's Indigenous culture.

Concerns 'the next national stars' are being shut out of sporting clubs due to a lack of inclusivity for athletes with autism

By bobb |

Six-year-old Ava Renwood is an aspiring athlete with big dreams of a career in sport.

Key points:

  • Special Olympics Queensland says many athletes with autism struggle to be accepted into sporting groups
  • Brisbane mum Ashleigh Brook says Australia risks potential future athletes "falling through the cracks"
  • Multi-class events are enabling children with disability to compete in more high level sporting events

But her mum Ashleigh Brook fears her options are limited by the lack of inclusivity and understanding of athletes with autism.

SA makes history with new autism minister

By bobb |

Tim Dornin

South Australia's autism community will get its own state government minister in a national first and a decision hailed as a major step towards greater inclusion.

Emily Bourke has been appointed assistant minister for autism in a bid to ensure people with the neurological condition are better represented.

Premier Peter Malinauskas says he has heard from many South Australians that the time has come for a dedicated effort from government to make autism a priority. 

"That is why we have created this new role," he said on Monday.

Hannah Gadsby on her memoir, Ten Steps to Nanette, and how her autism diagnosis changed her life

By bobb |

Hannah Gadsby's memoir, Ten Steps to Nanette, opens at the scene of a fancy Hollywood garden party at the home of actress Eva Longoria.

Celebrities are queuing to talk to Gadsby, whose Netflix comedy special, Nanette, had just sucker punched the world.

But the world-famous comedian extracts herself from a conversation with celebrated singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe to examine the preternaturally green lawn underfoot.

Kids on the autism spectrum experience more bullying

By bobb |

Daniel Lin, Valsamma Eapen

A new study has found autism is the top risk factor for bullying among all neurodiversities.

Children diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, experience various types of challenges at school. This might be due to communication, and also relationships with other children.

Accumulating evidence indicates children on the autism spectrum are more likely to be bullied.