Interventions for children on the autism spectrum: A synthesis of research evidence

By bobb | Tue, 10/11/2020 - 11:15

Dear person

Based on your previous interest in our publication the National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism, I am writing to let you know we have just published a new landmark report for families, clinicians, researchers and policy makers, which synthesises the best available high-quality evidence about interventions for children on the autism spectrum aged up to 12 years.

Low standards corrode quality of popular autism therapy

By bobb | Sat, 7/11/2020 - 15:58

Emily Sohn

Rapid growth and inadequate standards in the ‘applied behavior analysis’ industry may put vulnerable children in the hands of poorly prepared technicians.

When Terra Vance took a course to become a registered behavior technician (RBT) in 2015, she was trying to transition from a career as a teacher to one as a psychologist. To get the supervised hours she needed for her psychology license, she had taken a job working with mentally ill adults for a company in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Autistic Australian left out of mental health supports again

By convenor | Sun, 1/11/2020 - 11:40

Media Release

While A4 recognises the Health Minister’s “How’s your head today?” effort to support the mental health of Australians through this difficult COVID-19 period, we are concerned that autistic Australians have been left behind again.

Australian governments have a policy to recognise issues relating to the mental health of people with intellectual disability but to ignore the needs of autistic Australians. Minister Hunt and his department officially:

Girl with autism handcuffed by police

By convenor | Thu, 29/10/2020 - 07:13

The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House

Dear Prime Minister

Subject: Girl with autism handcuffed by police

The story below, from or 9News, describes unacceptable events. This outrageous treatment of autistic students cannot continue.

There are numerous similar reports for other autistic children.

What steps have you taken or are you taking to:

Adult autism diagnosis leaves Josh McKeiver relieved but facing work and study hurdles

By convenor | Fri, 23/10/2020 - 17:29

Melissa Martin

Being diagnosed with autism at the age of 33 was a watershed moment for Josh McKeiver.

Mr McKeiver was in his final semester of a science degree when he read an online story about a woman being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as an adult.

The woman's description of her condition struck a chord with Mr McKeiver, who had suffered through six years of a depressive disorder and severe anxiety.

He eventually acted on his suspicions and saw a psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with autism in 2019.

Dear Mr Hoffman - your open letter

By convenor | Wed, 14/10/2020 - 06:26

Dear Mr Hoffman

I received my copy of your open letter to all NDIS participants at 4.02pm today.

Throughout the letter, you use the term “independent assessments” despite the whole disability sector having advised you that the NDIA’s contracted assessments are not “independent”. Insisting on calling them “independent” when they are not independent at all is classic “Yes Minister” conduct. Your failure to acknowledge and refusal to respect the views of the disability community shows you are not interested in improving the NDIS for the people who depend on it.

Dear PM - the Government's war on autistic Australians

By convenor | Fri, 9/10/2020 - 15:15

A4 does not often write to the Prime Minister, we usually write to minsters responsible for specific issues.

The letter below complains formally to the Prime Minister that parts of the Government, especially the NDIA, are waging a war on autistic Australians.


The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House

Dear Prime Minister

Subject: government’s war on autistic Australians

I write to protest formally at the war on autistic Australians being waged by:

No next term for nine-year-old autistic boy after school blocks return

By bobb | Fri, 4/9/2020 - 07:00

Adam Carey

At just nine years old, grade 3 student Thomas Brown might be the youngest child ejected from a Victorian school in years.

Thomas has level-two autism spectrum disorder and has had repeated run-ins with another boy at his school, St Leonard’s College, a non-government school in Brighton East. The school ruled this week that he should not return in term four.

His bad behaviour includes spitting, striking the other boy with a cricket bat and making an insulting remark about the boy’s mother.

Concern in Australia's disability community NDIS assessment reforms could lead to self-harm

By bobb | Wed, 2/9/2020 - 08:29

Evan Young

This article contains references to suicide.

Disability advocates are concerned new reforms announced to NDIS eligibility decision making could have disastrous consequences.

There is concern in Australia's disability community that an overhaul of the National Disability Insurance Scheme could make it harder for people to access the program and lead to instances of self harm, including suicide.