What defines ‘success’ for autism treatments?

By bobb | Fri, 15/2/2019 - 08:59

What makes a successful autism treatment depends on whom you ask. A researcher may judge a treatment based on the results of a clinical trial or on the outcome measure chosen. For an autistic person, the best measure of success might be an improvement in quality of life. To others, no ‘treatment’ makes sense for autism’s core features.

To get a glimpse of such disparate perspectives, we asked three researchers and two autistic people to tell us what a successful autism therapy looks like to them.

The Experts:

Deborah Fein

Professor, University of Connecticut

letter: NDIS support is inadequate for autistic participants

By convenor | Sun, 10/2/2019 - 23:27

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) wrote to Minister Fletcher and NDIS officials saying A4 is concerned that NDIS support for autistic participants is often inadequate.

Table E.10 in the NDIS Y6Q1 Quarterly Report shows again that close to 29% of NDIS participants are autistic. Figure E-5 from the report and a similar figure from The Australian (see both figures below) indicate to us that for autistic participants:

the NDIS’s target, the “expected average annualised committed support”, is about $37K;

High levels of distress and depression in young people on autism spectrum

By bobb | Sat, 2/2/2019 - 06:24

    About one in every 150 Australian children will be affected by autism [editorial: the diagnosis rate for Australian children was more than 1 in 40 in 2018], with boys more likely to have it than girls.

    It's what's called a spectrum disorder, where the symptoms depend on where you sit on the spectrum.

    And while we know some things about managing and supporting children with autism spectrum disorder, a lot less is known about how it can affect the mental health of those who have it.

    Autism support scaled back as NDIS tries to rein in blowout

    By bobb | Thu, 24/1/2019 - 17:54

    Rick Morton

    The average NDIS support package for children with developmental delays is now less than half what was budgeted and autistic children are also receiving less than expected, after a cost-cutting drive targeting three conditions.

    Autism and developmental ­delays have consistently been ­listed by the agency in charge of the $22 billion scheme as being among the biggest “cost pressures” over the past few years.

    'Massive pressure': special needs classes clustered in Sydney's west

    By bobb | Tue, 8/1/2019 - 00:00

    Jordan Baker & Nigel Gladstone

    Special needs classes in public schools are heavily concentrated in the most disadvantaged parts of Sydney, with 92 in the Blacktown local government area alone but none in Hunters Hill, Lane Cove or Mosman.

    In the Liverpool and Campbelltown council areas there is an average of just over one class for students with disabilities per school, an analysis of NSW Department of Education figures by the Herald shows.

    National Disability Insurance Scheme builds on Helping Children with Autism success

    By bobb | Fri, 30/11/2018 - 07:14

    As Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) celebrates its 10th anniversary, providers and families are looking to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to continue the important work started by the program.

    HCWA was introduced by the Australian Government in 2008 to help families access crucial early intervention services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

    $4 million to fund research into Autism

    By bobb | Tue, 20/11/2018 - 11:08

    The Liberal National Government will provide nearly $4 million in funding for new research into autism, helping find better diagnosis, treatment and care for those affected by the developmental condition.

    The research funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council has been allocated for five projects across Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.