Autism Alliance welcomes bold Senate Report to deliver positive change for all Autistic Australians

By bobb |

Amaze: Media Release

The Australian Autism Alliance today welcomes the release of the Senate Select Committee Inquiry’s history-making report on Autism. This is the first time there has been such a broad-ranging national inquiry into the issues facing Autistic Australians with recommendations for positive change.

DSM-5 revision tweaks autism entry for clarity

By bobb |

Peter Hess

Two changes to the criteria for diagnosing autism are slated for release tomorrow in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-5-TR), published by the American Psychiatric Association. The small changes add clarity and nuance to how the reference text defines autism, but they are unlikely to change diagnostic practice, experts say.

Melbourne autism researchers develop world's most effective early screening tool for children

By bobb |

A screening tool developed by Australian researchers has been found to be the world's most effective tool for diagnosing children who are on the autism spectrum.

Key points:

  • A study of more than 13,500 Victorian children found the La Trobe University tool to be the most effective in the world
  • The tool teaches health workers to use a checklist to identify key behaviours when children come in for routine appointments
  • Children as young as 11 months old have been identified as having a higher likelihood of autism

Greater training needed for health professionals caring for people with cognitive disability

By convenor |

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has released a Commissioner’s report on Public Hearing 10: Education and training of health professionals in relation to people with cognitive disability.

The report makes 9 findings and 12 recommendations in relation to the education and training of health professionals across Australia including nurses, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists and speech pathologists.

New job led to ‘broken life’ under disability scheme spruiked as success story

By bobb |

Luke Henriques-Gomes

Woman tells inquiry how her experiences at ‘coffee school’ in $1bn-a-year federal program damaged her health and left her heartbroken

On her first day in an exciting new job, Mzia walked in to find a small “Breville-style” coffee machine placed on a computer desk in the reception.

Next to the machine was a container of long-life milk.

Mzia looked at the small Breville machine and told a senior manager: “This is not a commercial machine.”

Scripts make jab easier for autistic kids

By bobb |

Melbourne mum Leah Dean knows better than most that attending a COVID-19 vaccination appointment is anything but simple for children with autism.

Loud noises, crowds and bright lights anywhere, let alone at a busy immunisation hub – coupled with the uncertainty of a brand-new experience – can make her teenaged son very anxious.

But with the help of a set of special step-by-step instructions called a social script, 13-year-old Alexander was recently able to successfully have both his shots.

Families in crisis after NDIS funding cuts to participants with autism and intellectual disabilities

By bobb |

When Karen McKenzie received an unexpected letter from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) in August, she had to read it three times before it sank in.

Key points:

  • Hundreds of people with autism and intellectual disabilities have lost NDIS funding after the NDIA ruled it wasn't "value for money"
  • Some parents have quit their jobs or sold their homes to become their children's full-time carers
  • The federal government denies it has a "secret plan" to cut funding to people with autism

Her son Jarrod, who has autism and severe intellectual disabilities, needs help to eat, get dressed and use the bathroom, but the NDIS funding that paid for his carers had been cut by more than half.

Disability Sector Statement of Concern On the Religious Discrimination Bill & impacts on people with disability

By convenor |

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the harmful impacts the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill will have on Australians with disability.

We all support protection against discrimination on the ground of religion and of religious freedom as essential to any thriving democracy, but this must not be allowed at the expense of the rights and dignity of others.