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Hayden is flying around Australia to show others living with autism that the sky's the limit

By bobb | Tue, 14/3/2023 - 21:28

Bridget Judd

Hayden McDonald didn't always feel like the world was built for him. But from thousands of feet above, life makes perfect sense.

"It's a disconnect from the world, it's my escape," he says.

Hayden McDonald takes off in a light aircraft: he feels at home when he's flying (Gfycat)

"Being on the autistic spectrum, life is a little bit difficult, so it's a way for me to be myself without anyone trying to tell me who I am."

Teenager author advocates for other students with autism at Armidale high school in NSW

By bobb | Wed, 22/2/2023 - 09:30

Olivia Babb

Jacob Lawrence, at age 17, is a support student captain at Armidale High school, a motivational speaker and a published author.

He also has autism, something he says doesn't define him but inspires him.

"I'm using it to motivate other people to do what they need to do," he said.

At just six months old, Jacob had a stroke that left him physically impaired, unable to bear weight in his legs or move the left side of his body.

‘You don’t look autistic!’ What not to say if someone discloses they are autistic

By bobb | Sat, 18/2/2023 - 11:44

When Ashleigh Keating worked as a primary school teachers’ aide, she would very rarely tell the teachers she supported she was autistic, even though her students often had the same disability.

Her reluctance was based on widespread ignorance and stigma around autism. She observed teachers did not have high expectations of autistic students, bad behaviour was blamed on autism and if a staff member was a “little bit of an interesting character”, it was assumed they must be autistic.

Kids with autism don't need to be cured, guidelines say

By bobb | Sat, 18/2/2023 - 11:35

Children with autism should have their neurodiversity embraced rather than it being seen as something that must be cured, new national guidelines say.

The federal government on Thursday released Australia's first national practice guidelines to promote the education, participation and wellbeing of autistic children and their families.

The guidelines feature 84 recommendations for practitioners to ensure there is effective and consistent support available to children up to the age of 12.