ACT Government report on autism spectrum disorder and the NDIS

In May 2013, Ms Burch MLA, ACT Minister for Disability, tabled a report entitled "Report on support provided for autism diagnosis and services and the potential for further reforms resulting from the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the National Plan for School Improvement". Normally reports like this are made publicly available. Since SOfASD could not find a copy of the report on any ACT Government website, we requested a copy of the report from the Minister. After 11 months and several further requests, the Minister gave us an electronic copy of the report.

NDIS workshop: for and by people affected by autism spectrum disorder

SOfASD (Chair, Bob Buckley) is holding a free NDIS workshop in the MacArthur Room in the Ainslie Football Club on the 14th April at 7.30pm. You are all welcome to attend.

Date/Time: 7:30pm 14th April 2014
Location: MacArthur Room, Ainslie Football Club

The purpose of the workshop is to help people affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to understand and prepare for the coming National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in the ACT. The NDIS will start in the ACT in July 2014. It will be the main vehicle for disability services and support for the foreseeable future.

Letter to ACT Minister for Disability, Ms Burch MLA

Dear Ms Burch MLA

Following the recent NDIS cover in the media, there are several issues I would like to talk about with you as the Minister responsible for the coming NDIS in the ACT. I am generally supportive of the coming NDIS but I have serious concerns about the roll out. In particular, I am concerned that the transition to the NDIS may not be well planned and that several crucial services that affect people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have or will fall through the cracks.

Family's battle with bureaucracy over school transport for autistic son finally over

A Queanbeyan mother is grateful her autistic son has been allowed bus travel to school after a four-year battle with the NSW Education Department but infuriated it took going to the media to get a result. Janet Smith told her story to The Canberra Times earlier this month out of desperation when she was knocked back four times by the department after years of battling the bureaucracy. Mrs Smith and her husband Nick have two profoundly autistic sons, both of whom attend the Malkara School, across the border in Canberra.

Autism - early intervention - a matter of public importance

from 17/9/2013

Autism—early intervention programs

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Doszpot): Madam Speaker has received letters from Ms Berry, Dr Bourke, myself, Mr Gentleman, Mr Hanson, Ms Lawder, Ms Porter, Mr Smyth and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Madam Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Ms Lawder be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of providing intensive early intervention programs for children with autism in the ACT.

Incredible! Autism/ASD diagnosis rates falling in ACT

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) may be the only place in the world where the diagnosis rate (prevalence) for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in young children is dropping. SOfASD produced a monograph raising concerns that the autism/ASD diagnosis rate for children under 10 years of age is falling in the ACT when the rate continues to rise in the rest of the country. Current data from a range of sources shows that the number of ASD diagnoses in the ACT are well below the numbers observed elsewhere in Australia.


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