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”
It appears that Spring has sprung! And with it some warmer weather, some sunshine, and a new family of very cute ducklings on La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus. At OTARC, Spring has brought us international visitors and an opportunity to meet members of the community at our Research Showcase in what we hope will become a regular event. This event, held on September 7th at La Trobe University’s Melbourne city campus, was an opportunity to showcase a sampling of our current and proposed research projects across our four program areas; Identification and Diagnosis, Supports and Practices for Daily Living, Vocational Engagement and Health and Wellbeing. We heard from our senior and junior researchers in rapid-fire 10-minute talks. Members of the audience were able to ask questions of the researchers which led to lively discussion. Even as Director, I learnt new things about the work that our researchers are doing and further appreciated the breadth and reach of OTARC’s research. It was wonderful to see so many members of the community in attendance and we will look to further refine the format for future events.Read more “OTARC Director’s Report September 2023”
Many autistic people and ADHD-ers report using “masking” and “camouflaging” in their lives. This is where people conceal certain traits and replace them with neurotypical ones to avoid being recognised as neurominorities.Read more “What are ‘masking’ and ‘camouflaging’ in the context of autism and ADHD?”
It has been a busy three months since our last newsletter. Our re-imagining agenda continues at pace as we hire new staff and settle further into our new structures. Several new professional staff have been appointed to new research support roles including: Wade Burton (Grants & Finance), Asher Mills (Data Officer), Laura Dhondy (Communications) and Susan Conduit (Administration). We have also appointed two new international Early Career Fellows – Dr Daryll Archibald (University of Dundee) and Patrick Dwyer (University of California, Davis). Both are in the process of relocation to Melbourne and will commence with us in September.Read more “OTARC Director’s Report July 2023”
Cheryl Dissanayake is a professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, and the Olga Tennison Endowed Chair in Autism Research at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Center. She has been researching autism since 1984. Spectrum spoke with her about her path to autism science, the history of the field in Australia, and the importance of Melbourne hosting the 2024 INSAR annual conference, which Dissanayake will chair. In this conversation, Dissanayake mentions Margot Prior, Bruce Tonge, Lawrence Bartak, Ross Day, Stella Crosley, Marian Sigman, Beryl McKenzie and Olga Tennison — all notable names from Australia’s autism research community.Read more “The story of Autism research in Australia: A conversation with Cheryl Dissanayake”