There have been no systematic studies on the prevalence of Autism in Australia. Accurate prevalence data allows for planning necessary services and supports, and also helps to build community understanding for Autistic Australians. We know that Autistic individuals make up approximately 30% of people accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), however without accurate prevalence data, it is difficult to know what proportion of Autistic individuals are receiving funding.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into some of our research that aims to understand the prevalence of Autism in Australia. OTARC researchers have conducted four studies that have created a clearer picture of the situation and highlighted areas where more attention and support may be needed.Read more “Autism prevalence in Australia: What we know so far”
With better awareness and acceptance, approximately one out of every 50 children is receiving an autism diagnosis. More and more families are deciding when to share this information with their child. Some parents worry that doing so will “label” their child, or make others treat them differently.Read more “How to talk to your child about their autism diagnosis – the earlier the better”
Since beginning research on the early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders back in 2005 as part of my PhD program, the Social Attention and Communication Study (SACS), I was often asked “What’s the point of identifying children at 2 years of age or younger if there are very few or no services for them?” You see, back in 2005, there wasn’t the Helping Children with Autism Package for families of children on the spectrum (aged 0 – 7), or intervention programs like the Early Start Denver Model – the first intervention model with strong empirical evidence for its effectiveness in Autistic infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. So, at this time, many families had to wait on long waiting lists for early intervention services, as long as 18 months in some cases, to receive a few hours a week of services! It was therefore difficult to convince some people, both in the public and private sectors, of the importance of early detection and subsequent intervention.Read more “Early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Why it’s important and why we need to have this conversation with parents”
When a newborn joins a family we become beguiled by the perfection of this wondrous new being. Any hint of difference is easily overlooked during the early years.Read more “Mums and dads! Don’t ignore the early signs of Autism”