International - Autism and the Criminal Justice System: Policy Opportunities and Challenges

By convenor | Thu, 20/10/2022 - 06:40

Preventing, reducing, and improving interactions between autistic individuals and the criminal justice system are urgent research and policy priorities. Research should guide evidence-based programs and policies that limit unnecessary interactions between autistic individuals and the criminal justice system and address documented high rates of victimization among autistic individuals.

At the Crossroads of Trauma and Autism

By bobb | Fri, 29/7/2022 - 14:09

Reviewed by Michelle Quirk

Why we need to start talking about the risk of trauma for those with autism.

Key points

  • Up to 72 percent of adults with autism may have severe trauma histories.
  • It is hard to find research on the lives of adults with autism before 2000 and virtually impossible to find research on adult women with autism.
  • High trauma rates for people with autism needs to be a central part of autism awareness and treatment.

It is a sad truth that the majority of the early research into autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was done with young children, most of whom were boys. It is hard to find research into the lives of adults with autism before 2000 and virtually impossible to find research on adult women with autism. As an autistic woman, it is frustrating for me to know that the quality of life of adults with autism was ignored for decades. This has led to several massive problems that are only now coming to light. One of these problems is the extraordinarily high number of women with autism that have been through serious trauma and meet diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Autism behind bars

By bobb | Tue, 10/11/2020 - 00:00

Andrew Beasley was quickly losing his cool. It was October 2015, and he was about two years into his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution, Fort Dix in New Jersey.

Beasley, then 32, had left his MP3 player on a charging station in the facility’s computer room, but when he went to retrieve it, it was gone. He thought he knew who had it and frantically started to look for the man.

“I’m forgetting politics. I’m forgetting everything. I’m just looking for my MP3 player,” says Beasley, who had been diagnosed with autism two years earlier.

Nerves That Sense Touch May Play Role in Autism

By bobb | Sun, 18/10/2020 - 07:16

MINNEAPOLIS – Autism is considered a disorder of the brain. But a new study suggests that the peripheral nervous system, the nerves that control our sense of touch, pain and other sensations, may play a role as well. The exploratory study is published in the October 14, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

COVID-19 should not herald rollback in rights for people with autism: UN chief

By convenor | Sun, 5/4/2020 - 07:56

The rights of persons with autism must be taken into account in efforts to address the COVID-19 coronavirus: “a public health crisis unlike any other in our lifetimes”, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday.

António Guterres’s appeal came in his message for World Autism Awareness Day, observed annually on 2 April.

Adolescent anxiety predicts later psychiatric diagnoses in autistic people

By bobb | Sun, 5/1/2020 - 12:47

Michael Marshall

Anxiety in adolescents with autism is a strong predictor of suicidal ideation, bipolar disorder, depression and other psychiatric conditions in early adulthood, according to a large new study in Sweden1.

People with autism are known to be at increased odds of having other psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety and depression. And a second new study confirmed this trend in a group of autistic people in Minnesota2.

However, the Swedish study found that anxiety is predictive of these other conditions regardless of an autism diagnosis.

Concluding Observations on Australia and the UN CRPD, Sep-2019

By convenor | Thu, 3/10/2019 - 00:00

Dear Mr Basharu

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, known as A4, observes that your Committee published its “Concluding Observations: UN Report on Australia’s Review of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD), 24 September 2019”. A4 greatly appreciates your efforts to hold Australia to its international obligations in relation to people with disabilities.

A4 is puzzled and disappointed that your Concluding Observations make no reference to autistic Australians. Excluding autistic Australians from your observations leaves them feeling that a crucial human rights body fails to recognise their needs and right.

Leave No Autistic Mother Behind: Autism and Motherhood – Experiences, Challenges and Positive Strategies (COSP12 Side Event)

By bobb | Thu, 20/6/2019 - 07:46

A4 and AFDO represented in UN Side Event

13 Jun 2019 -  Autism is a partially genetic, lifelong neurodevelopmental difference, yet there is limited research examining parenting in autistic mothers.

This side-event will discuss, from both an academic and an experiential point of view – including through 2 panellists who would be speaking both as researchers and as autistic mothers – the experiences of autistic mothers in areas related to parenthood: pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, self-perception of parenting strengths and weaknesses, communication with professionals in relation to one's child, and the social experience of motherhood, including disclosing one’s diagnosis of autism in parenting contexts.