AMA: Early diagnosis and intervention essential for children with ASD

By bobb | Wed, 7/12/2016 - 13:04

The AMA today called for coordinated action to speed up the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children, and to provide early intervention therapies to give children with ASD the best outcomes possible.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, also called on the Federal Government to rule out any future narrowing of the eligibility requirements for people with ASD to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Formation of the Australian Autism Alliance Announced

By bobb | Fri, 2/12/2016 - 13:36

Media Release

The enormous potential of autistic Australians is not being realised.

On the eve of International Day of People with a Disability (3 December), a pioneering network of organisations have come together to announce the formation of the Australian Autism Alliance. It brings together autistic people, their parents and carers, service providers and researchers.

Autism diagnoses in Australia continue to grow in 2016

By convenor | Wed, 23/11/2016 - 07:46

Media Release

The latest national data shows the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to grow at a substantial rate. In June 2016, there were 78,951 autistic children getting Carer Allowance (child) which is an increase of 9.4% from 2015. Another 2,000 children listed autism in their next three disabilities. In June 2015 there were 72,184 children and in June 2004, there were 14,495 children aged 0-15 years getting Carer Allowance (child) with ASD as their first-listed disability.

Just over 6,000 children were diagnosed with autism in the 2015-16 financial year; an average of 16.5 new autistic children each day. Over 2.46% of children aged 10-14 years are autistic.

In 2016, there are 62,609 boys and 16,342 girls. The male to female ratio is 3.8:1. There is serious concern that many girls miss out on diagnoses and on the services and supports that they need.

ASD, early intervention and the NDIS

By bobb | Tue, 25/10/2016 - 11:39

With a recent video, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) released a bit of information about its NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach as it affects autistic children. Regrettably, The NDIS ECEI Approach falls well short of best practice early intervention (EI) for autistic children.

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, a national grass-roots ASD advocacy group known as A4, applauds the NDIA’s intention to help children with disability into EI as quickly as possible. However, A4 is concerned that the NDIS ECEI Approach:

Reconsider your perception of autism, pleads mother of two autistic children

By bobb | Tue, 25/10/2016 - 00:00

I am a 43-year-old autistic wife and mother to two beautiful autistic children. Our family is what I like to describe as ‘neurodivergent’: our brain and thought process is different to others based on our genetic make up. So it was with shock and disbelief when I learned that four people from the one family had died on Monday 17 October in Davidson, NSW. 

Stress, despair in care of children with autism

By bobb | Sat, 22/10/2016 - 00:00

They say that the mother of a child with autism experiences a level of stress comparable to that of a combat soldier.

Grace Fava certainly did.

Her two boys, now aged 15 and 13, were diagnosed with autism at the ages of three and two respectively and the family plunged into near-constant crisis, including a three-year period of faeces smearing and several terrifying occasions when they escaped naked from the windows.

"In the early days it was horrendous," Ms Fava said.

No excuses, autistic kids were murdered, disability advocates say

By bobb | Fri, 21/10/2016 - 10:05

CAROLINE OVERINGTON

Disability advocates have express­ed dismay at the public’s response to the gassing of two ­autistic children in the northern Sydney suburb of Davidson, saying the case should be treated like any other murder.

Mother of six Samantha ­Connor, who has two children with autism and who has been in Adelaide this week, pushing against a proposed new law that would allow for euthanasia for the terminally ill in certain circumstances, says the Sydney children were murdered, “so why do we have people saying: ‘oh, but it’s understandable’?’’

2000 sufferers shut out of NDIS in the ACT

By bobb | Mon, 17/10/2016 - 13:12

RICK MORTON, Social Affairs reporter

The future of the $22 billion Nation­al Disability Insurance Scheme has been thrown into ­crisis after as many as 2000 people with serious mental health conditions and disabilities were shut out of the program in the ACT, the first jurisdiction to fully adopt the new model.

The territory scheme reached its “target” of 5075 clients within hours of full rollout on September 30. Newly eligible people have been turned away and told to wait for a vacancy, which is typically only available when someone in the NDIS dies.

letter/email to David Bowen, NDIA CEO, on NDIS Early Intervention

By convenor | Sun, 16/10/2016 - 09:20

Dear Mr Bowen,

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4), the national grassroots advocacy group for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is alarmed and disappointed by the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA’s) video on Facebook (see https://www.facebook.com/NDISAus/videos/594542027373310/ … a transcript is given below) about how its Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach is meant to work for autistic children. Disappointingly, this video shows that the NDIA continues to ignore/rejects expert advice and the peer reviewed research literature that defines best practice (and evidence-based) early intervention (EI) for autistic children (see http://a4.org.au/node/843).

The NDIA’s video features Michelle and her children (hopefully not their real names). While the following is critical of the video’s content, it is not intended to criticise Michelle who appears to be doing her best for her children. The NDIA is wholly responsible for the content of the video.