Enough ‘autism awareness’. The necessity now is action

Progress has been made, but the release of the profound film, The Reason I Jump, shows how much further we need to go

A film comes out this month that is among the most profound, thought-provoking and moving feats of documentary-making I have ever seen. It is about autism, and a state of being that far too many people either misunderstand or ignore. But as it ranges across lives played out in Japan, Britain, the US, India and Sierra Leone, it also shines a light on parts of the autistic experience millions of us would recognise in ourselves. In doing so, the film shows how little we still know about the human mind, but how much more we understand than we did even a decade ago.

Anxiety, not autism is holding many children back at school, researchers say

Sally Eeles

Queensland researchers say anxiety — not autism — is preventing many children on the spectrum from flourishing at school.

Key points:

  • Anxiety predicts quality of life more than a child's level of autism, researchers say
  • Researchers are hoping to reduce this anxiety by giving parents the skills to give to their children
  • Griffith University is seeking 30 families with an autistic child due to start prep in 2022 for the program

New national hotline to help Australians living with autism

Australians with autism will have access to online, digital and phone-based support services that can offer specific advice through a new national hotline.

The federal government will announce the $8.4 million funding boost to the program, called Autism Connect, on Tuesday.

Following its success, it will now become a national service that will be run by peak autism body, Amaze.

NDIA's secret report on PEDI-CAT (ASD) and NDIA misinformation

On the 12th October 2020, Mr Hoffman, the NDIA CEO, wrote a letter to NDIS participants, their families and carers. In his letter, he claimed that

The tools [for the NDIA's so-called Independent Assessment] have been ... used all over the world for many years.

A4 doubted this was true since no such tool existed for autistic people.

As a mother, senator challenges NDIS reforms

When Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes was elected to Federal Parliament, she paid tribute to her “gorgeous son Fred” who was diagnosed with autism in 2012, and vowed to pour her “blood, sweat and tears” into autism and disability support.

“Fred is the light of our family’s life in so many ways,” Senator Hughes said in her maiden speech in 2019. “Whether it’s all the developmental milestones he’s passed, when doctors said he wouldn’t; his love of Godzilla, New York and San Francisco, old-fashioned media; or just he and I watching David Attenborough specials, there is no one more loved, or who brings more love to this world.”

NDIS changes 'offensive' says NSW Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes

Dan Jervis-Bardy

A Liberal senator has blasted the government's proposed new assessment system for National Disability Insurance Scheme participants as "dehumanising" and "offensive" and said she wouldn't want her autistic child to be subjected to one.

NSW Senator Hollie Hughes has not ruled out voting against her government when legislation to mandate independent assessments is brought to parliament, declaring she's a "mum first, a senator second".

Mother recalls disability home allegations

Ethan James

The mother of a man living at a NSW residential care home for people with a disability has described the shock of listening to evidence about his alleged abuse.

Sophia was sitting in court in October when she heard details for the first time about the alleged treatment of her son Carl, who is now 24.

"Hearing what the witnesses were saying was probably the hardest thing I could have done," she told the disability royal commission on Tuesday.

Anthony Taikato, 19, is breaking down the stigma of autism as he continues to achieve massive personal and professional milestones

Kaitlyn Smith

The teen used to undertake an hours-long commute before the sun had even risen in order to complete his TAFE studies

IPSWICH teen Anthony Taikato has never been one to back down from a challenge.

Diagnosed with a learning difficulty and autism at a young age, the 19-year-old has since gone on to achieve a growing list of both personal and professional milestones.

He recently marked 18 months since joining the ranks at Garstone Design Furniture in Carole Park after taking up work as a labourer on the production line.

Assault and bullying in disabled care home

Aaron Bunch

A supervisor at a NSW residential care home for disabled people was charged with assault, stalking and intimidation over his treatment of a blind and autistic man, an inquiry has heard.

The same carer was also accused of sexual misconduct towards a teenage girl in another facility and supervisory neglect after allegedly falsifying a client's medication chart.

Disability discrimination complaints received by Australian Human Rights Commission on the rise



Rebecca Puddy

Jessica's son was four years old when she was told he was no longer welcome at his school, and according to some experts, she is not alone in her plight.

Key points:

  • Jessica has told the ABC her son was excluded from a private school because of his disability
  • The Human Rights Commission received 1,006 disability discrimination complaints in 2019-20
  • That number is up 34 per cent from 2015-16

Her son Elliot*, who lives with high-functioning autism, was excluded from his Sydney school just months after being told there would be additional support to accommodate his needs.

USA: What the Heck Is ABA, Anyway?

Amy S.F. Lutz

How can something be both "torture" and "best practice" in autism intervention?

Key points

  • Applied behavior analysis, or ABA, describes an umbrella of interventions based on the principles of operant conditioning.
  • These principles shape the learning and behavior of all of us, disabled or not.
  • Attacks on ABA as "torture" reflect a deep misunderstanding of what is actually considered best practice by many researchers and clinicians.

Family lose legal battle with Qld government over school ‘jail’

A family who claim their disabled child was discriminated against because he was restrained in a Queensland school have lost their appeal in court.

Steve Zemek

A disabled boy who sued the Queensland government because he was suspended and tied up at school due to his behaviour problems has lost his bitter legal feud with the state after having his appeal dismissed.

Mental Health Issues Affect 3 In 4 Kids With Autism

Shaun Heasley

The vast majority of children with autism have at least one mental health condition too, new research suggests.

Almost 78% of kids on the spectrum are diagnosed with some type of mental health condition and almost half have two or more. Even among preschool-age children with autism, 44.8% have such conditions.

By contrast, just 14.1% of young people without autism have mental health conditions.

NDIS autism assessment pilot leaves young man ‘embarrassed’

The NDIS has resumed its pilot into independent assessments, which aims to improve the “equity and consistency” in the organisation’s decision making.

But Autism Awareness Australia CEO Nicole Rogerson said the assessment for her son Jack - who lives with Autism - "didn't go to plan" and had to be ended early.

“They sat down with a list of things he couldn’t do and asked him to rate his own disability,” Mrs Rogerson told Ali Moore on ABC Radio Melbourne.

“He was embarrassed - he was looking between his dad and I and the assessor.”


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