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ASD in the News

Check out the AFSA Facebook page for posts relating to news items and stories about autism from Australia and around the world.

Do one thing for Autism

May 14th 2018

New Amaze research highlights gap between awareness and understanding of autism.

The findings revealed nearly all Australians (98%) have heard of autism, and 85% of people have contact with an autistic person.  One in five people has an autistic friend, and one in four has an autistic relative.

Yet despite the widespread awareness and personal connection, only 29% of respondents said they know how to support an autistic person.  And when the researchers asked the same question of autistic people and their families, only 4% of them believed people in the community knew how to support them.

The research also shows that over half of autistic people are socially isolated and have high levels of negative day-to-day interactions including 81% reporting being stared at and 61% reporting people ‘tutting’ at them or shaking their heads.

It is these attitudes and behaviours that Amaze wants to change.

To build greater understanding of how autistic people can be better supported in the community, Amaze has launched a new campaign called Do One Thing For Autism.  We’re asking people to take a two minute quiz to test their knowledge of autism and then pledge do one simple thing to make the world a little bit easier for autistic people everywhere.

Please visit and share with anyone you think wants to better understand autism.

In a Different Key - The Story of Autism

If you are new to autism, or like many of us have travelled the journey for some time now, this book is a fascinating read.  Written by US journalists John Donvan and Caren Zucker, the book puts so much of what we understand of autism today into an historical context.  Chapter Headings include
  • Autism's First Child (1930s - 1960s)
  • The Blame Game (1960s -1980s)
  • The End of Institutions (1970s -1990s)
  • Behaviour, Analysed (1950s - 1990s)
  • The Questions Asked in London (1960s - 1990s)
  • Redefining a Diagnosis (1970s - 1990s)
  • Dreams and Boundaries (1980s - 1990s)
  • How Autism Became Famous (1980s - 1990s)
  • "Epidemic" (1990s - 2010)
  • Today - Finding a Voice, Neurodiversity
The book was first published in 2016 by Allen Lane, part of Penguin Random House - and is currently available from Booktopia for the special price of $25.95 (Feb 2018).  Hopefully it will also feature in local library catalogues!

Victorian Education Department Restraint and Seclusion data to be released

This news item was published in The Age June 9th 2017.  See here for a link to the recently released Education Department Restraint and Seclusion Guidelines.

Vale Donna Williams, aka Polly Samuel

AFSA was sad to learn of the recent death of Donna Williams.  Donna was the author of the acclaimed autobiographies "Nobody Nowhere" and "Somebody Somewhere" which in the early 1990's helped many of us gain insight into autism from first hand experience.  Donna subsequently wrote many more books, presented to conferences around the world and mentored many autistic individuals.  You can read a tribute from her husband Chris on Donna's blog here.