Is it autism? The line is getting increasingly blurry

Submitted by bobb on Fri, 23/8/2019 - 12:51

Around the world, the number of people diagnosed with autism is rising. In the United States, the prevalence of the disorder has grown from 0.05% in 1966 to more than 2% today. In Quebec, the reported prevalence is close to 2% and according to a paper issued by the province's public health department, the prevalence in Montérégie has increased by 24% annually since 2000.

NDIS Autism Advisory Group August 2019 communique

Submitted by convenor on Tue, 20/8/2019 - 06:44

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Autism Advisory Group (AAG) met on 1 August 2019 to discuss the implementation of the recently announced Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) remediation plan to resolve delays and backlogs for children with disability in accessing supports.

The AAG’s feedback on the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) ECEI approach and delays experienced by families has been instrumental in the development of the remediation plan, announced by the Minister for the NDIS, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, on 26 June 2019 (External website). 

A4 sent a report on Australia and the UN CRPD

Submitted by convenor on Mon, 5/8/2019 - 07:56

The United Nations is again reviewing Australia's response to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) submitted a report on Australia's response to the CRPD in relation to the rights of autistic Australians. The key points A4 made are:

Australia’s laws and its legal system:

do not protect the rights of persons with disabilities
protect, and possibly promote, disability discrimination against autistic citizen in disability services.

Andrew Bolt's mocking of Greta Thunberg leaves autism advocates 'disgusted'

Submitted by bobb on Sat, 3/8/2019 - 07:43

Australian News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt labels 16-year-old environmental activist ‘strange’ and ‘disturbed’

News Corp’s Andrew Bolt showed “absolute ignorance” when he mocked the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg in a column for the Herald Sun, an autism awareness advocate says.

The high-profile columnist for Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers and Sky News commentator attacked the 16-year-old campaigner as “deeply disturbed”, “freakishly influential” and “strange” in the piece published on Wednesday.

The Neurodiversity Movement Should Acknowledge Autism as a Medical Disability

Submitted by bobb on Tue, 23/7/2019 - 07:07

Yuval Levental

Autism doesn’t have to define a person’s identity

The autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen published an article, “The Concept of Neurodiversity Is Dividing the Autism Community,” where he defends the neurodiversity perspective. There are several specific arguments in his article, but overall, he views autism as a biological difference, not a disability.

Report highlights deep-rooted inequality in NDIS

Submitted by bobb on Fri, 12/7/2019 - 09:20

This article relates to people with disability generally; it is not specific to ASD.

Shannon Jenkins

Males and people with higher incomes are more likely to benefit from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) than other demographic groups are, according to a new report.

The article by BMC Public Health, a journal which looks at the community impact of health policy and practice, studied how social determinants of health at the individual level can contribute to deep-seated health inequalities when combined with complex policy-delivery systems.

It found the ability to exercise choice is distributed unequally through personalisation schemes like the NDIS.

Unusual eating behaviors may be a new diagnostic indicator for autism

Submitted by bobb on Thu, 11/7/2019 - 00:00

Atypical eating behaviors may be a sign a child should be screened for autism, according to a new study from Penn State College of Medicine.

Research by Susan Mayes, professor of psychiatry, found that atypical eating behaviors were present in 70% of children with autism, which is 15 times more common than in neurotypical children.

Atypical eating behaviors may include severely limited food preferences, hypersensitivity to food textures or temperatures, and pocketing food without swallowing.

The 'problematic' rise in students excluded from mainstream classes

Submitted by bobb on Thu, 20/6/2019 - 09:17

Henrietta Cook

An increasing number of students with autism are being excluded from mainstream classes according to new research which raises concerns about the segregation of children with disabilities.

The Monash University research found that between 2009 and 2015, the inclusion of autistic students in mainstream classes dropped from 18.8 per cent to just 3.3 per cent.

During this period, the proportion of students with autism in special schools increased from 37 to 52 per cent.

Can gut bacteria cause autism (in mice)?

Submitted by bobb on Thu, 20/6/2019 - 09:08

High profile study claims mice show “autism-like” behaviour. But does the evidence stack up?

Jon Brock

Two weeks ago, a paper published in the journal Cell claimed to provide evidence that microbes in the gut contribute to the development of autism. The researchers, led by Gil Sharon and Sarkis Mazmanian at the California Institute of Technology, found that mice with gut bacteria from autistic children exhibited more “autistic-like” behaviours than mice whose gut bacteria came from non-autistic children.