Victorian Autism Conference - FINAL DAYS TO REGISTER!
The trial run of the Victorian Autism Conference has been completed and apart from some minor technical issues, which have now been addressed, the live streaming worked well. This means that the Regional Centres will enjoy a high quality experience and opportunity to meet many other people that share the same experiences. The word is spreading - see some of the VAC media coverage here.
We also wanted to alert all eSpectrum subscribers and Autism Victoria members that the Melbourne venue is virtually full and unless you register for the conference in the next day or two it is most likely that you will be unsuccessful in obtaining a Melbourne-based place at the conference.
If this is the case and you are keen to still attend the conference please consider attending at any one of the regional centres. With regional centres in Geelong, Warrnambool, Horsham, Mildura, Albury, Shepparton, Bendigo, Ballarat and Traralgon there are still many opportunities available.
Message from the CEO: Labor Election Announcement
I attended the launch of the Labor party initiatives at the MS Society “Nerve Centre” in Blackburn on Thursday the 29th of July. The Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Minister Jenny Macklin and Parliamentary Secretary Bill Shorten also attended the launch. There was little new funding that will directly benefit individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, however I was able to confirm that the current early intervention funding through the Helping Children with Autism package will continue.
In brief the Prime Minister announced:
Better Start for Children with a Disability initiative
Young children under the age of 6 diagnosed with sight and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome or fragile X syndrome will be eligible for services under the program up to a value of $12,000. From 1 July 2011, children will be able to access critical early intervention services like speech pathology, audiology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and psychology. A panel of approved service providers will be established covering a range of services such as occupational therapists, audiologists, speech pathologists, orthoptists and psychologists.
In addition, about 20,000 children will also be able to access new Medicare services for diagnosis and treatment under this program. A Medicare rebate for the development of a treatment and management plan will be available for children under the age of 13. Medicare rebates will also be available for up to four allied health diagnostic services and for up to 20 allied health treatment services per child in total with relevant allied health professionals. Treatment items could be used by children up to the age of 15, provided they received a treatment and management plan before they were 13 years of age.
The Better Start for Children with Disability initiative builds on a similar program for children with autism that has been successfully implemented by the government. That program has provided more than 8,500 children with autism spectrum disorder with early intervention funding since 2008. Under Federal Labor’s new program, more children with disabilities will be entitled to the same benefits as under the Helping Children with Autism Package.
The Labor Government also announced funding for:
The development of a leadership program to support people with a disability to gain both leadership and management skills.
A further 150 places in supported accommodation
The launch of the National Disability Strategy. The strategy has been developed in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders and will drive and underpin a broad range policies and practical strategies into the future.
State and Federal Elections
Autism Victoria has developed position papers for both the State and Federal elections. To date we have forwarded both position papers to the relevant State and Federal members, and we would encourage all readers to access these position papers.
Along with the position paper an Election Pack has been developed for the State election, which includes a number of letters etc. Click here to access the State election position paper and Election Pack.
An Election Pack (including letter-writing campaign) is also being developed for the Federal election, and will be available on our website in the coming weeks. In the meantime, click here to download the Federal Position Paper.
I would like to encourage all members and other supporters to access the policy documents and in particular take the time to meet with local members of parliament and ask for their position on increasing support for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. You are welcome to download any or all the documents if this will be of assistance.
Sunday, 18th July saw over 200 participants complete Run Melbourne by running or walking to raise money for Autism Victoria. We would like to thank everyone who participated or donated for their overwhelming efforts to help raise over $20,000 for Autism Victoria.
Do you have a sense of adventure? Do you like a personal challenge? Do you want to participate in something to help raise awareness of ASDs in the community? Autism Victoria is launching a major fundraising effort for adventurers to walk the Kokoda Trail in October 2011. For more information, or to register your interest, click here.
Call for Research Participants
The following research projects are currently calling for research participants. Visit our Research Page or click on the links below.
Sleep in adolescents with Asperger's disorder or high functioning autism
Stress and coping in parents of autistic children
An education and skills training programme for parents of young adults with autism
Children's sleep patterns and psychological wellbeing
Teaching emotion recognition in young children with autism
Growth in boys with autism
Various Dates: Early Days Workshops - Introductory Workshops
Various Dates: Early Days Workshops - Skills Workshops
Various Dates: Early Days Workshops - Telephone Workshops
Various Dates: Become an ABA Therapist
School Terms: Social Skills Training Groups for children with ASDs
First and Third Sundays of every Month: Aspinauts Children's Choir and 1:1 Music Mentoring
Fourth Thursday of the Month: Autie Friendly Dinner Club
Fourth Sunday of the Month: SunTen Tennis Coaching Program
3rd August - 17th August: Become an ABA Therapist
5th August - 6th August: Victorian Autism Conference
5th August - 4th Sep: Making Meaning: An exhibition of figurative, abstract and photographic artworks
6th August: Walking in Autistic Shoes
6th - 8th August: Weekend Family Retreat
8th August: Early Days Workshop: Siblings - What Can You Do to Help?
10th August: Nurturing Friendship and Connection with Darcy Elks
11th August: Developing the Leadership of Individuals and Families with Darcy Elks
12th August: Getting Ready for School in 2011 - "Talking Points"
13th - 27th August: Making it Work: A program for teachers and integration aides working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
14th August: ABA Information Session
17th August: Early Days Workshop: Siblings - What Can You Do to Help?
17th August: How to Successfully use Visuals in the Home of School: Talking Points
18th August: Behaviour Management: Practical Strategies for Children with ASD
19th August: Carol Gray Seminar: Solving the Social Equation in ASD
24th August: Early Days Workshop: Siblings - What Can You Do to Help?
25th August: Carol Gray Seminar: Friendship, Bullying and People with ASD
26th August: Developing and Improving Handwriting: "Talking Points"
27th August: Donna Williams Presents Jam Jar Documentary
4th September: Footsteps of a Nobody
4th September: Manage your Child's Sensory Processing Difficulties at Home and in the Community: "Talking Points"
6th - 8th September: Become an ABA Therapist
11th September: ABA Information Session
24th September: Walking in Autistic Shoes