In late 2019, about a year after I was diagnosed with autism, a media storm descended on then 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, accusing her of not smiling enough during an impassioned speech at the UN climate action summit. She was there, tirelessly campaigning against fossil fuel profiteers who are actively destroying the planet, which, of course, would’ve been a hoot. Most famously, conservative commentator Andrew Bolt labelled her “mentally ill” and “deeply disturbed”.
While the promise of ice cream is often enough to coax most kids into rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated, for some children in our community - particularly those on the autism spectrum - vaccinations, or even conducting a PCR or rapid test can be especially challenging.
When chatting with colleagues, planners, or even looking at NDIS resources such as the “Would we fund it” page, you might come away with the impression that the NDIS doesn’t fund a specific support, that it’s forbidden. For example, someone might tell you, “the NDIS does not fund chiropractic”, or “the NDIS does not fund support worker hours for anyone under seven, or psychology for someone in prison without a release date, or yachts, yoga, spaceships, sex toys,” or… whatever. But the NDIS Act is silent on the specific supports that it won’t fund.
CYHY is an 8 year old boy who has autism, social communication disorder, generalised anxiety disorder and ADHD.
CYHY’s mother requested that he be provided with an assistance dog from Smart Pups Assistance Dogs for Special Needs Children Inc. in exchange for a “donation” of $20,000 to be funded under the NDIS.
The NDIA rejected this support, and his mother appealed the decision at the AAT.
This week the AAT overturned this decision, finding that the support of an assistance dog is reasonable and necessary.
Eighteen-year-old Jake Course's life has been built around routines and familiarity.
Every day, it's toasted cheese sandwiches and raisin toast. The Wiggles and Thomas the Tank Engine. Tinkering with his dad's hot rod cars, building with Lego, and attending the Sunshine Special Developmental School in Melbourne's west.
This month, he will complete Year 12, and the school bus which has been picking him up and dropping him home for the last 13 years will come no more.
His mother Melissa Boyd has been dreading that day.
A4's interim submission on the sustainability of the NDIS is available online.
The submission contains some recent data about the number of people diagnosed formally with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and receiving either an NDIS plan or Carer's Allowance (child). These diagnosis rates are often interpreted as indicators of autism prevalence in our community.
The following data is reported in Annex A.
Grace Tame raised her voice and started a revolution that would change the national conversation. But being Australian of the Year has taken a toll.
Grace Tame has lost track of the number of speeches she’s given since being named Australian of the Year. She just knows she can’t keep up this pace forever.
Peta Rostirola received her COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccine site and thought the whole process was smooth and easy.
But when her 13-year-old son, Pablo, became eligible for the vaccine, she knew it would be a different story altogether.
Pablo is on the autism spectrum, and while experiences may vary, people on the spectrum may deal with sensory issues if they visit a new or crowded place.