Mandatory training for health and care staff in England to support people with a learning disability and autistic people has been launched following a grieving mother’s four-year campaign.
Earlier this month, I attended the Autism-Europe International Congress in Kraków, Poland, where the theme was “Happy Journey Through Life.” Although this sounds like an admirable goal, I would not choose the word “happy” to describe my daughter Jodie’s life with profound autism, nor would many other families who struggle with the day-to-day challenges of life on the profound end of the autism spectrum, a reality that is largely invisible to mainstream society.
The federal Budget includes funding for a National Autism Strategy (NAS). Australia needs a NAS because key disability supports failed autistic Australians.
I apologise for being so long between A4 Updates. I have no excuse.
We've been busy since the federal election. The new government promised a National Autism Strategy (NAS) and A4 has been working hard, with others in the autism sector (especially the Australian Autism Alliance, ASfAR and Amaze), to help the government create the best National Autism Strategy that we can. So far, the Department of Health and Ageing has been the agency that is most interested in moving forward (see Brief & meeting with Health officials - a National Autism Strategy in health and an Autism Roadmap). Other key government departments and agencies seem to be waiting for "guidance" from the coming Budget.
A4's main role is systemic advocacy. That means we advise the government and others what is happening for autistic people, and how better policy and programs can improve the lives of autistic people. Our advocacy work is visible on our website: see https://a4.org.au/advocacy and is the list below.
Preventing, reducing, and improving interactions between autistic individuals and the criminal justice system are urgent research and policy priorities. Research should guide evidence-based programs and policies that limit unnecessary interactions between autistic individuals and the criminal justice system and address documented high rates of victimization among autistic individuals.
For increasing numbers of families, school refusal is a crippling problem. But some programs are offering hope by thinking outside the box
As a year 10 coordinator in 2013, high school teacher Craig Hildebrand-Burke began to clock an increasing number of student absences at his school. As he began to contact families, he soon realised that school refusal was becoming “a major presenting issue” for the year 10 cohort at his co-ed Catholic high school in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.
With education and mental health systems under pressure, families are experiencing distress as a result of children refusing to go to school. Here are some of their stories
Guardian Australia asked readers to share their experiences of school refusal, the commonly used term for children who are so distressed by school that they are unable to attend. Data that differentiates school refusal from other types of absences is hard to obtain, but anecdotally experiences of school refusal are rising.
A recent research publication observed:
The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has transformed the Australian funding landscape for individuals with disability and their families. This study examined whether the profiles of autistic children and their families accessing an early intervention (EI) setting have changed following its introduction.
It found that ...
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