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Autism Victoria trading as Amaze. Visit our website.

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eSpectrum No. 61 November

 What's in this edition

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 VAC Abstracts Closing in 2 days! 

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There are just two days to go before the Call for Abstracts for the Victorian Autism Conference (VAC) 2012 closes. Abstracts must be submitted by 30 November for consideration for next year's conference to be held on 9-10 August 2012. We are seeking presentations that provide practical strategies and information on ASD to enhance the quality of life of families and individuals affected by ASD.
Please be aware that shortlisted candidates may be asked to an interview by the VAC Committee during January 2012. Contributors will be notified of the outcome of their submission by 2 February 2012.

To submit your abstract, please visit our website.
More Information: If you need any assistance or have queries about the Abstract Submission Process, please contact us on 03 9657 1607 or email us.

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 International Day of People with Disability - Sat Dec 3

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There are many events being run all around Victoria on Saturday 3 December to mark International Day of People with Disability.

Autism Victoria trading as Amaze will be taking part in an event being put on by Melbourne Zoo to encourage the promotion of equity in access and inclusion of persons with a disability.
Melbourne Zoo’s Meet the Keeper presentations will be translated by Auslan Interpreters for the day, including presentations with the Gorillas, Meerkats, Giraffes, Elephants, Seals and the newly opened Baboons enclosure.

We will be one of a number of partner organisations with information booths along Main Drive. We hope to see you there.

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 3 Opportunities to Advocate

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Autism Victoria trading as Amaze receives many calls from parents and teachers regarding the challenges, concerns and ambitions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and the school system. As a result we are in regular contact with the Department of Education and we are regularly raising the issues highlighted to us.
There are now three opportunities for parents and teachers to share their thoughts, concerns and ideas for possible changes to the system. These opportunities are:
1.       The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission has announced an inquiry into the education system and this can be pursued by accessing their web site: www.humanrightscommssion.vic.gov.au
2.       The Productivity Commission has released a draft report into Education and the workforce and this will also provide an opportunity for both parents and staff to comment on both the draft report but to also advocate for improved teacher training.  The report can be accessed via the Productivity Commission web site:  www.pc.gov.au
3.      The third opportunity will be available via the Victorian Auditor General’s Department and although this inquiry has not yet been announced, parents and teachers can contact the Department and they will provide advice on how to prepare a submission: www.audit.vic.gov.au

Advocate for individuals with ASD
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 WAAD 2012 - Which Date? Survey Results

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Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey in Issue 59 of eSpectrum to find out which was the preferred date for the World Autism Awareness Day Walk and Balloon Release.

The result was not quite unanimous, but it was a landslide victory for Sunday 1 April with about 97% choosing this date over Monday 2 April. Based on this, we hope to see at least 97% of you there on the day! Along with your friends, relatives and everyone you know.

We are still in the planning stages for the event which is already shaping up very well. More details to come early in the new year.

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 AGM Board Results

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The AGM was held at Villa Maria last night and was attended by 29 people. Chair, Prof Bruce Tonge, opened the meeting and welcomed those attending.

The meeting was then handed over to Autism Victoria trading as Amaze staff for a number of presentations.

Fran Ludgate, Manager Marketing & Communications, gave a presentation on the recent launch of the new Amaze branding and the release of the www.amaze.org.au website, talking about the reasons behind the change and taking a number of questions from the floor. This was followed by a short presentation regarding the recent renovations to the Autism Library at the Drummond Street office and an invitation to those present to visit.

Emma Godsil, Manager Amaze Autism Accreditation demonstrated a project that she has been working on for the last year, the PlayConnect Playgroups resource, which is about to be launched. Attendees were very impressed with this new resource and more information will be available soon.

Stacey Aroutzidis, Family Counsellor, and a participant in the recent Kokoda Trek, gave a short talk about her experience in PNG accompanied by a 5 minute film of the trip, put together for us by filmmaker Cam Suttie – we will make the link to this available from our website shortly.

Prof Tonge continued the business of the evening, with his report highlighting the strong position of the organisation and the many positive activities being undertaken, mentioning in particular the Amaze Knowledge training and Amaze Accreditation programs. Prof Tonge also notified the meeting that this would be his last AGM as Chair after 3 years in this position, stating his belief in rotating the role.

Graeme Wickenden, Treasurer, gave his report, stating that the organisation is in the enviable position of having 2.5 times assets to liabilities and having finished the year with a small surplus.

Murray Dawson-Smith, CEO, thanked board members for their wisdom and support, staff for their hard work “above and beyond”, and members for their continued support and involvement in the organisation.

Prof Tonge carried out the official business of the meeting, reappointing auditors, and re-electing members, Anne Mustow, Elizabeth Renn and Ursula Smith for a further term.

Thank you to everyone who turned out for the AGM – it was great to see you there.

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 Research Projects Recruiting Participants

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The following research projects require research participants. Please contact the researchers directly for more information.

The influence of social support, bullying, and social problem-solving on anxiety/depression in autism spectrum disorders

Pregnancy, birth, infant feeding and child health outcomes

Investigating social attention in children with ASD

Sex, sexuality, and gender identity in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Evaluation of nutrition educational resources about managing eating issues in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Understanding the support needs of university and TAFE students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Coping skills for teenagers using a mobile phone program

Electrophysiological, eye–tracking, and behavioural markers of Autism Spectrum Disorder in young infants

Conversations on Autism: Stories on Independent Living and Parental Experiences

Improving social skills for young people with autism spectrum disorders

Social Anxiety in Asperger Syndrome

Living with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: The experience ofteenagers with High Functioning ASD

A new natural treatment for Autism

Fluoxetine for the treatment of restricted, repetitive and stereotyped behaviours in children and adolescents with autism

Autism and medication use

Stress and coping in parents of autistic children

Children’s sleep patterns and psychological wellbeing

Growth in boys with autism

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