FoI - AFP have no ongoing training in ASD

freedom of information act 1982 written on image of parchment scroll

In a recent letter, the ACT Minister for police told SOfASD that ACT "police officers ... undertake ongoing training in mental health conditions, including the treatment of patients with autism spectrum disorder". SOfASD sought evidence of this "ongoing training" from the AFP.

The response from the AFP (see below) shows there is no such training for police in how best to interact with autistic people.

See also FoI response - ACT Ambulance

ACT Government: number of autistic prisoners

prisoners being sniffed by sniffer dog on lead

SOfASD asked the ACT Government how many autistic prisoners there are in the AMC. You can download the Minister's response (6/7/2018) from the link below.

Basically, the ACT Government says:

  • it doesn't know how many of its prisoners (detainees?) are autistic
  • detainees can self-identify as autistic and have their claim written on their ACTCS Induction Form
  • its system "offer[s] a supported environment and care coordination for detainees with identified complex needs". They do not indicate how many detainees meet this criterion, or say whether self-identifying as autistic means having "identified complex needs" (it's sounds unlikely).  The ACT Government provided no evidence whatsoever of any actual support
  • it asked the AMC and JHS "to work collaboratively on improving the data collection and storage processes" ... if this happens the ACT Government may be able eventually to answer basic questions about the number of autistic prisoners

letter to Carers ACT

Carers ACT logo

Hi

I was told that at one of your recent workshops, the presenter and a Carer's ACT staff member told a mother of an autistic child that in order for the child to be eligible for the NDIS she needed an updated autism diagnosis if their child was diagnosed under the (pre-2013) DSM-IV.

Please do not tell people this, I understand that this is incorrect. The text of the DSM-5 (available at http://a4.org.au/dsm5-asd), the updated/post-2013 manual, says:

SOfASD & A4 - submission on the NDIS

stamps saying "submission"

Here is the submission from Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD) and Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) to the Inquiry into the implementation, performance and governance of the National Disability Insurance Scheme being conducted by the Health, Ageing and Community Services Committee of the ACT Legistaltive Assembly.

The submission concludes:

NDIA, autism stakeholders and early intervention

Subject:
Date:
From:
Organization:
Re: Letter from Minister Stephen-Smith
Sun, 8 Apr 2018 12:03:58 +1000
Bob Buckley (A4 Convenor) <convenor@a4.org.au>
Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)

Minister R. Stephen-Smith MLA
ACT Legislative Assembly

Dear Ms Stephen-Smith MLA

Thank you for your response to our email. I also appreciate the time you spend talking to me at your "mobile office" on the 2-MAR-2018.

I am intrigued by the paragraph in your response that says:

I note that you also raised concerns with Ms De Luca regarding the NDIA Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach as it relates to autism. The ACT Government is aware that there are a number of community concerns relating to the ECEI approach as outlined in your correspondence. The Office for Disability is actively working with the NDIA both at a national and regional level to address these concerns and hopes to influence a positive outcome.

I expect that the precise "number" that you refer to in "a number of community concerns" is zero.

Canberra families may relinquish children amid NDIS funding shortfalls

Sherryn Groch

Young Canberrans with high needs could be locked out of respite care by Christmas unless a last-minute solution is found to "critical" funding shortfalls under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

As families warn they will be forced to surrender care of their children without the regular break of respite, advocates are calling for an urgent intervention in the territory to address the "market failure" of services.

School cage scandal reforms beset by failed deadlines

Katie Burgess

Changes recommended after the 2015 boy-in-a-cage scandal have again been the subject of time blowouts, a delay ACT Education minister Yvette Berry blamed on the need for collaboration across several arms of government.

An expert panel called for wide-ranging reforms to how schools handled children with complex or challenging behaviours, after a 10-year-old boy with autism was locked inside a cage at a Canberra school.

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