Mainstream Australian classrooms 'not prepared' to educate the expanding cohort of autistic students

By bobb |

By Ashleigh Keating

Connor Winfield was a gifted student, so no one could understand why he found school so difficult.

Key points:

  • Autism is the fastest growing disability in Australia, having increased by 25 per cent between 2015 and 2019
  • Mainstream teachers often lack the training and resources to cater for the needs of neurodiverse students
  • Experts and advocates are calling for autism-specific training to be mandatory for teachers

"I would bet that most of my teachers did not understand what autism was," he said.

Almost two years after a referral, Mariam’s son is finally getting the help he needs

By bobb |

By Amber Schultz

It took Mariam Mukhtar nearly two years to have her teenage son Raamiz assessed for autism following a paediatric referral, and she fears the delay in getting him support has cost him his high school experience.

“Having support at the right time … that would have been a life-changing experience,” she said.

NDIS - not the only lifeboat for Autistic Australians

By convenor |

From the outset as Minister for the NDIS, The Hon. Bill Shorten MP, said (15/6/2022):

The NDIS will not fulfil the promise if it is the only lifeboat in the ocean for people living with disability.

Minister Shorten is increasingly concerned in relation to Autistic Australians needing NDIS support. He’s used this analogy repeatedly since then.

Disability advocate hits back at ‘misleading’ claims that NDIS funding is incentivising autism diagnoses

By bobb |

Stephanie Convery

Chief of Children and Young People with Disability Australia says families are simply seeking help for their children, with the NDIS ‘the only place to turn’

An advocate for people with disabilities has criticised as “unhelpful” and “misleading” reports suggesting families are pursuing autism diagnoses because they see the NDIS as a financial opportunity.

The NDIS is being rorted, but not by autistic people like me

By bobb |

Elena Filipczyk Autistic writer

It took me two years after my formal autism diagnosis to build up the courage to ask my kind, empathetic GP to help me access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). I was mortified, but most of all, I felt like an impostor.

As my GP smiled warmly and took the paperwork off me, she admitted she’d never filled in an NDIS form before. I looked down at my feet and dug my nails into my palms. Was I wasting her time? Was I wasting government money?

Autistic drivers could find their licences in legal limbo depending on where they live after new standards introduced

By bobb |

Danielle Cahill

Thousands of autistic drivers could find their Australian licences are in legal limbo due to changes quietly made last year to the national standards that govern who is considered fit to drive.

The national 2022 Assessing Fitness to Drive standards are the first to list autism as a condition that "should be assessed individually", which may involve a practical assessment.