The Senate: Select Committee on Autism

By convenor | Sat, 7/12/2019 - 00:00

Media Release

5 December 2019

A new Senate Select Committee on Autism has been established. The committee is made up of politicians who will look into the services, support and life outcomes for autistic people in Australia.

What will the committee look into?

The committee will look at a wide range of issues relating to autism – including diagnosis, education, health including mental health, employment, justice and rights, and housing.

All the issues that the committee will look at (the terms of reference) can be found on its website.

New Plan To Support Victoria’s Autism Community

By convenor | Sat, 7/12/2019 - 00:00

The Andrews Labor Government has released a five-year plan to provide autistic Victorians greater opportunities for choice and community participation.

Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan today launched the Victorian Autism Plan with representatives of the Autism Plan Advisory Group who contributed to the plan’s development.

The Victorian Autism Plan sets out actions to improve the lives of autistic Victorians and their families and carers, backed by $7.1 million in funding.

Major parliamentary inquiry into autism

By bobb | Wed, 27/11/2019 - 22:56

Matt Coughlan

Autism will be the subject of a wide-ranging parliamentary inquiry looking at services, support and life outcomes for people on the spectrum.

The Senate on Wednesday established a select committee on autism which will look at the need for a national strategy.

Liberal senator and committee chair Hollie Hughes, whose 10-year-old son Fred has autism, said the inquiry would be the first of its kind.

'It doesn't make sense': More than 600 kindy kids suspended last year

By bobb | Mon, 18/11/2019 - 09:11

Jordan Baker

More than 600 kindergarten students were suspended from NSW primary schools last year, raising concerns small children are being sent home as punishment for undiagnosed disorders such as autism or ADHD.

Figures from the NSW Department of Education show the number of kindy students suspended rose from 398 in 2014 to 435 in 2016, then jumped to 514 in 2017. Last year, the figure reached 626.

The department is reviewing its suspension and expulsion policy after revelations students with disabilities are over-represented in suspension figures.

'Minimal progress': State sued for 'abandoning' autistic boy's education

By bobb | Thu, 7/11/2019 - 14:04

The mother of a 17-year-old autistic boy has sued the state of Victoria over a government school’s alleged "abandonment" of her son’s education and failure to teach him the curriculum.

The case, which could have implications for thousands of families who believe their child has been excluded from learning due to a disability, is listed for a three-week hearing in the Federal Court next year.

The mother, whom The Age has chosen not to name, argues the school’s failure “to put intensive effort into his education” and instead fill her son's school days with “non-academic activities” has left him effectively illiterate, innumerate and unemployable.

'It was nasty': Children with disability bullied, belittled at school

By bobb | Thu, 7/11/2019 - 07:12

Judith Ireland

A mother of five children with disabilities has told the disability abuse royal commission that one of her sons took a knife to school because he was so scared of bullies, while her daughter was belittled by a teacher for needing extra toilet breaks.

The woman told a hearing in Townsville on Tuesday that it was "absolutely exhausting and frustrating" trying to get schools to make changes so children with disability could be included.

Disability royal commission: girl with Asperger's hid in garbage bin to avoid bullying

By bobb | Mon, 4/11/2019 - 00:00

Luke Henriques-Gomes

First day of hearings told multiple instances of violence led to anxiety that affected 10-year-old’s walking and speech

A 10-year-old girl who lives with Asperger syndrome was hit over the head, pushed from a pier and began hiding in a garbage bin to avoid further bullying, the disability royal commission has been told.