At last! The Australian Government decided to fund a Co-operative Research Centres (CRC) for Autism Spectrum Disorders.
"The CRC for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders will receive $31 million to enhance the lives of individuals with lifelong development disabilities arising from an autism spectrum disorder." (see http://minister.innovation.gov.au/chrisbowen/MediaReleases/Pages/70mill…).
The number of people diagnosed with autism has more than doubled every 5 years for at least 20 years. Data from Australian Government sources shows over 1.4% of school aged Australian children were diagnosed with autism in 2012 (see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/622).
Analysis of ABS data collected in 2009 (see http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4430.0) shows around 20% of Australians with severe or profound disability aged 5-24 years have autism (see http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4428.0main+features42009). The number of people with severe or profound disability did not increase from 2003 to 2009, but the proportion of people with autism doubled over the same period. Autism is a serious and growing issue for Australia and Government needs to pay far more attention that it has in the past.
Reports on the CRC are available at: