Autism research at the crossroads

By bobb |

Brady Huggett

In April of 2021, Emilie Wigdor finished up a paper titled “The female protective effect against autism spectrum disorder” and put it on the pre-print server medRxiv. Wigdor is a Ph.D. student in human genetics at the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom, and the paper had taken three years to complete. It was also the first paper on which she was first author. She was proud of that, and she took to Twitter to promote the work in an 11-part thread.

'Only home he knows’: Family facing deportation over son’s autism seeks minister's intervention

By bobb |

The Lim family is facing a struggle to stay in Australia after the residency application for their son was rejected on medical grounds. They are now seeking intervention from Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil to be allowed to stay permanently.

Key Points

  • The Lim family’s permanent residency application was denied due to son Seongjae’s medical condition
  • They are now seeking ministerial intervention to remain permanently in Australia
  • An online petition has been launched to drum up support for the family’s appeal to Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil

Hyunsin Lim and his wife Yoojin Yang hoped to provide a ‘safe and fulfilling' life for their two children in regional Australia.

From deficits to a spectrum, thinking around autism has changed. Now there are calls for a ‘profound autism’ diagnosis

By bobb |

This article by Professor Andrew Whitehouse, Bennet Chair of Autism at Telethon Kids Institute and from The University of Western Australia originally appeared in The Conversation on November 9, 2022.

A heated debate about autism was reignited after the recent publication of an article advocating for use of the term “profound autism”.

Autism and Suicide: Why Autistic Individuals are High Risk

By bobb |

“How is he?” my mother in law asked worriedly as she hugged me tight.

“Not good, I don’t know how to reach him, he is here, but so far away”, I explained through the tears running down my face.

My precious son had been struggling for weeks emotionally and physically. From my own personal experience with depression and suicidal thoughts, I knew the depths he was in, while fighting to keep his head above water.

On the spectrum himself, my little boy’s struggle was not uncommon. Autism and suicide, unfortunately, can go together often. My concern for him was great.

Health staff in England to be trained on learning disability and autism

By convenor |

Steven Morris

Mandatory programme named after Oliver McGowan, whose mother led a campaign after his death in 2016

Mandatory training for health and care staff in England to support people with a learning disability and autistic people has been launched following a grieving mother’s four-year campaign.

It’s time to embrace ‘profound autism’

By bobb |

Alison Singer

Earlier this month, I attended the Autism-Europe International Congress in Kraków, Poland, where the theme was “Happy Journey Through Life.” Although this sounds like an admirable goal, I would not choose the word “happy” to describe my daughter Jodie’s life with profound autism, nor would many other families who struggle with the day-to-day challenges of life on the profound end of the autism spectrum, a reality that is largely invisible to mainstream society.

Autism in the Budget 2022-23

By convenor |

The federal Budget includes funding for a National Autism Strategy (NAS). Australia needs a NAS because key disability supports failed autistic Australians.

  1. Australia's Disability Strategy (ADS) simply did not recognise that growing numbers of diagnosed autistic Australians need services and supports that are planned to meet their support needs.
  2. when the Department of Health and Ageing created its Roadmap for People with Intellectual Disability if failed to take the opportunity to recognise and address the needs of autistic people both with and without intellectual disability, or consult with representatives from the autism sector.
  3. the NDIS's war on autism does not benefit our nation. The NDIS needs to support autistic people much better than it currently does.