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Hayden McLean kept in 'large caged area' in 'absolutely horrific' group home experience, disability royal commission hears

Nas Campanella and Celina Edmonds

Severely autistic man Hayden McLean was kept in a "large caged area" and had an "absolutely horrific" experience adjusting to life in a group home, according to evidence his mother has given at the disability royal commission.

Disability care watchdog has issued just one fine despite 8000 complaints

Rob Harris

Just one fine has been issued and only one provider banned by the disability watchdog despite more than 8000 complaints being lodged in the past two years.

The scandal-plagued disability sector will get $22 billion from the federal government this financial year, but an independent review found the system left vulnerable people open to harm and neglect.

Schools must prepare for 50 per cent rise in students with disabilities: report

Jordan Baker

The number of students with disabilities in the public education system is predicted to grow by 50 per cent in the decade to 2027, and they will need twice as many specialist teachers and thousands more support classrooms.

Six new special needs schools will also have to be built every year if diagnosis and enrolment rates continue and policy settings do not change, modelling by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for the NSW Department of Education found.

Edith Cowan University study suggests fussy eating could be warning for autism

Alex Crowe

A team of researchers in Australia have found a link between children's eating habits and autism.

The Edith Cowan University study found children who ate a less varied diet between one and three years old were more likely to score higher on a test for autistic traits as adults.

No next term for nine-year-old autistic boy after school blocks return

Adam Carey

At just nine years old, grade 3 student Thomas Brown might be the youngest child ejected from a Victorian school in years.

Thomas has level-two autism spectrum disorder and has had repeated run-ins with another boy at his school, St Leonard’s College, a non-government school in Brighton East. The school ruled this week that he should not return in term four.

Concern in Australia's disability community NDIS assessment reforms could lead to self-harm

Evan Young

This article contains references to suicide.

Disability advocates are concerned new reforms announced to NDIS eligibility decision making could have disastrous consequences.

There is concern in Australia's disability community that an overhaul of the National Disability Insurance Scheme could make it harder for people to access the program and lead to instances of self harm, including suicide.

changed position on National Autism Plan

Dear members of the Select Committee on Autism

When I appeared before you recently, you asked about a National Autism Strategy. Please disregard the answer I provided at the time.

Since that time, the Department of Social Services (DSS) and Services Australia:

  1. had senior officials appear before the Community Affairs Committee, and
  2. released a Position Paper on its National Disability Strategy.

These events both show DSS to be no longer fit-for-purpose.

Australians will now get more help to access the Disability Support Pension

Many autistic people indicate to us that they experience difficulty accessing the Disability Support Pension (DSP). Maybe, a new service will help.


A new online resource has been established to help people navigate the sometimes complex process of accessing the Disability Support Pension.

By Jarni Blakkarly

Natasha Thomson says for the two-and-a-half years it took her to get on the Disability Support Pension (DSP), it felt like every aspect of her life was being scrutinised.

‘Life was a battle until my child was diagnosed with a lesser-known form of autism’

By Claudia Tanner

Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) – characterised by avoiding everyday demands and expectations to an extreme extent – is increasingly, but not universally, accepted as a profile that is seen in some autistic people.

When Francesca Manca’s son Simon was diagnosed with autism, she felt some relief that this would mean she would get the right support for him.

Comment on DSS National Disability Strategy options paper

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia responded to DSS's Options Paper on continuing the old National Disability Strategy (NDS) which they call a "new" strategy.

DSS's Options Paper shows no evidence of input from the disability community, especially input that says the previous strategy didn't work and substantial change is needed.

It also shows that it does not understand human rights in Australia but still tries to take a human rights perspective.

‘Love on the Spectrum’ Cast Guide: Who’s Who in Netflix’s Autism Dating Show

Love on the Spectrum is a new Netflix dating show that follows a group of seven singles and two couples, all on the autism spectrum, as they either look for love or celebrate the love they’ve found. The show was a big hit when it debuted in Australia in late 2019, and now it’s found an international home on Netflix.

Test case settlement great news for autistic children

Catherine Blundy’s discrimination test case against The Lakes Christian College has settled, with the school agreeing to measures to better support autistic children.

In reaching settlement, Catherine, her mum Hannah, and the College have made the following statement:

Hannah Blundy and The Lakes Christian College have agreed to resolve Catherine Blundy’s claim against the College currently before the Federal Circuit Court.

UOW joins autism research co-production plan to 'give voice' to those on spectrum

Agron Latifi

Traditionally, most research about autism is conducted by people who are not themselves on the autism spectrum.

However Dr Amanda Webster, from the School of Education, and her fellow University of Wollongong researchers, are involving autistic people in all aspects of the research process, from deciding research questions, to data collection and analysis, to translating the findings into real-world outcomes.

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