Landmark summit on autism health care kicks off

Submitted by bobb on Sun, 19/5/2019 - 14:32

Hannah Furfaro

A panel of autism scientists and advocates is charged with a tall order: making recommendations for the care of autistic people worldwide. The panel is slated to meet for the first time today after the 2019 International Society for Autism Research annual meeting in Montreal.

Convened by the journal The Lancet, the group includes more than 20 of the world’s leading autism researchers, clinicians and advocates. Its goal is to review research and make concrete suggestions on health care and health policy.

Advocates blame NDIS failures as families give up severely disabled children to child protection

Submitted by bobb on Fri, 10/5/2019 - 06:54

Richard Willingham

Children with high-needs disabilities are living in child protection because their parents can no look longer after them, with advocates blaming a lack of support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for forcing parents to give up their children.

Key points:

The Concept of Neurodiversity Is Dividing the Autism Community

Submitted by bobb on Thu, 2/5/2019 - 07:37

Simon Baron-Cohen

It remains controversial—but it doesn't have to be

At the annual meeting of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) in Montreal, Canada, this week, one topic likely to be widely debated is the concept of neurodiversity. It is dividing the autism community, but it doesn’t have to.

The term “neurodiversity” gained popular currency in recent years but was first used by Judy Singer, an Australian social scientist, herself autistic, and first appeared in print in the Atlantic in 1998.

Families need guidance before buying a communication app for autism

Submitted by bobb on Mon, 29/4/2019 - 06:41

Cathy Binger

Many children with autism have little to no functional speech, and their families are often desperate to help them communicate.

In today’s connected society, these families are likely to hear about a variety of communication apps — some specifically targeted at children with autism — available for mobile devices, including iPads. Often the advertisement includes a video of a child who starts communicating using the app’s voice output, effortlessly asking for a cup of juice or saying, for the first time, “I love you.”

Study identifies predictors of early death among autistic people

Submitted by bobb on Thu, 18/4/2019 - 00:00

Nicholette Zeliadt  

People with autism who avoid social interactions or have troubles with daily living skills — from using a toilet to preparing meals — are at increased risk of an early death, a new study suggests1.

Autistic people are more than twice as likely as those in the general population to die prematurely. They are also at increased risk for a range of health conditions, such as diabetes and cancer, that can be fatal.

‘Ready to try anything’: Parents say education is failing autistic kids

Submitted by bobb on Wed, 17/4/2019 - 12:15

Pippa Bradshaw

Parents of children with autism have called for an overhaul to an education system they say is failing their kids.

Mum Kristy is at her wits' end trying to get help for her 13-year-old daughter.

"She just goes crazy," Kristy said.

"It can start off by just being silly, she gets quite hyper, silly, and then she can get abusive verbally. From there she can get physical."

Mum Kristy is at her wits' end trying to get help for her daughter. (A Current Affair)

Hobart high school 'cage' for teenagers with autism 'akin to Risdon jail'

Submitted by bobb on Tue, 9/4/2019 - 12:26

Rhiana Whitson

A lockable fenced play area for teenagers with autism at a Hobart high school has been described as a "cage" by the parent of one student, who said it risked "taking away from their humanity".

Key points:

The play area is part of the Department of Education's flexible learning program
A disability advocate says "the system is letting us down"
A Government spokesman said medical professionals, "including paediatricians, psychologists" and OTs were consulted about the fenced area

Autistic Australians are being locked out of the workforce, study finds

Submitted by bobb on Fri, 5/4/2019 - 12:49

Of unemployed people with autism, 54% surveyed said they had never held a job despite wanting to

Australians living with autism are being locked out of the workforce, while some of those who found paid employment say they have previously lost a job because they are on the spectrum, new research claims.

A study commissioned by autism peak body Amaze, and described as an Australian-first by its authors, surveyed the employment experiences of those living with autism and their carers, as well as attitudes towards autistic people in the workforce.

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,