Senate motion for a National Disability Strategy

Submitted by bobb on Thu, 4/4/2019 - 17:32

Following representation by the Australian Autism Alliance, Senators Griff (Centre Alliance) and Brown (Labor) moved the following motion in the Australian Senate. Hansard records that the Senate passed the motion on 2/4/2019.

Senator GRIFF (South Australia) (16:44): I wish to inform the chamber that Senator Brown will also sponsor this motion. I, and also on behalf of Senator Brown, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) in 2015, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that there were 164,000 Australians with an autism diagnosis and a prevalence rate of 2.8% for those aged between 5-14 years (around 81,000 children), though this does not reflect the large numbers of autistic adults who remain undiagnosed,

NDIS - another massive rort: Bernardi

Submitted by bobb on Tue, 2/4/2019 - 15:42

Editorial: nearly one year ago, the Conservatives claimed the NDIS is a rort. While it may not be what they meant, the Government is rorting the NDIS: instead of providing the support that autistic Australians needs, the Commonwealth Government is sucking revenue back from autistic people on the NDIS into its coffers to fund it's paper-thin budget surplus. Senator Bernardi mentions families of autistic children specifically.

Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi is warning that the National Disability Insurance Scheme is already being rorted.

Australia adopts standards for autism diagnosis, to mixed reviews

Submitted by bobb on Fri, 29/3/2019 - 00:00

Nicholette Zeliadt  

Australia has become the latest country to establish guidelines for diagnosing autism, with the goal of making diagnoses consistent nationwide.

Clinicians typically diagnose autism using criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or the International Classification of Diseases. The new guidelines do not replace or reform these criteria; rather, they outline a framework for assessing behaviors and determining whether an individual meets the criteria.

Latest test of promising autism therapy shows only mild benefits

Submitted by bobb on Fri, 15/3/2019 - 00:00

Anna Nowogrodzki

A much-touted behavioral therapy for autism, the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), may not be as effective as its creators had hoped1.

In the latest study of the therapy, it did not improve children’s intelligence quotients (IQ) or adaptive behavior any more than other treatments. Children treated with ESDM showed some improvement in their language, but only at two of the three study sites.

Independent experts say the results are disappointing, and they question some of the methods used to generate them.

Draft Terms of Reference for a Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

Submitted by convenor on Wed, 13/3/2019 - 09:35

Have your say!

Finally, progress is being made towards a royal commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of Australians with disability.

You can provide input to the terms of reference if you are quick (until 28/3/2019): see https://engage.dss.gov.au/royal-commission-into-violence-abuse-neglect-…;

Supporting autistic Australians is a crucial election issue

Submitted by convenor on Fri, 8/3/2019 - 09:29

The next federal election is May 18!

Both A4 and the Australian Autism Alliance have produced material that improves awareness of ASD-related issues ahead of the coming federal election.

A4 encourages autistic people, their families, carers, ... everyone who wants better outcomes for autistic Australians, to share these documents with candidates in the coming May 18 federal election.

You can make a difference! The easiest thing to do is write to political parties: send them (electronic) copies of the documents below and ask them to tell you what they are doing to address issues that are crucial for autistic Australians.

NSW Education: Disability Strategy, A Living Document

Submitted by bobb on Fri, 8/3/2019 - 07:48

The NSW Education department has released its latest "disability strategy" (download here).

In relation to autistic students, it says:

autistic students are 33% of "students supported by funded programs distributed by disability type 2017" in NSW (students with intellectual disability make up 40%).
"From 2013-17, enrolments of students with autism increased by ~14.5% per year" according to the Education Department's own data ... at this rate, the number of autistic students doubles every 5 years.
...

What's Next for Autistic Adults?

Submitted by bobb on Fri, 1/3/2019 - 11:42

John Elder Robison

We don't know, because most autistic adults are unrecognized and unsupported.

Reading the news, the prognosis for autistic adults looks like a very mixed bag. On one hand are hopeful stories about Project Search, Autism at Work, and Neurodiversity in school. Those accounts portray autistic people as loyal, kind, eager to work, and wanting to make a meaningful contribution. Employers talk about superior attention to detail and exceptional caring about quality and correctness.

Scott Morrison poised to order royal commission into abuse of people with a disability

Submitted by bobb on Thu, 28/2/2019 - 07:37

Amy Greenbank

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has written to the states and territories asking for their support in establishing a joint inquiry into abuse in the disabled sector.

New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have confirmed they are behind the probe, but a formal announcement is not expected until Mr Morrison hears back from the other leaders.

Federal Cabinet discussed establishing a royal commission on Tuesday night.