AFSA Forum, 2 May 2019
2019 “The NDIS, Autism and Families”. More than 50 family members heard about the NDIS journeys of three guest speakers as well as the opportunity to speak with NDIA staff.
JW – “I really like the forums held by AFSA. It provides us with a lot of useful information and lets me feel more supported and strengthened.”
CV “Thank you – I came away with new knowledge and new friends.”
AFSA AGM 2018
Well done to the AFSA members and friends who braved an exceptionally cold Sunday to attend our AGM. Following presentation of our Annual Report (you can download a copyhere) we were pleased to welcome our Guest Speaker, Stephanie Gotlib.
Stephanie has worked in the disability sector for 25 years, has experienced disability as a sibling and a parent and is the CEO of Children and Young People with Disability
Stephanie spoke of her role with the CYDA and the ever changing role of autism families in the 2018 disability environment. Stephanie gave a wide ranging address on a variety of current topics and issues in the disability arena. Some of the key messages she noted were:
- that the NDIS is only one small part of the broader reform of the disability environment involving the move towards a social model of disability, based on the International Convention on the rights for people with a disability.
- the importance of the National Disability Strategy which is setting the reform agenda at federal, state and local government levels. The essence of the Strategy is addressing the challenge of changing community attitudes to autism and disability in the context of the existing culture of disability – such as the charity model, deficit based language, pity poor me attitudes and the burden of carers.
The 2018-19 AFSA Committee was formed, with all current committee members renominating. There are three vacant committee positions and AFSA members are encouraged to consider joining our committee and assisting with the work of the organisation – for details contact the President or Secretary.
AFSA Parent/Carer Forum 2018
TUESDAY 29th MAY – Autism Q&A presented by AFSA – Taking Care of Carers – an opportunity for parents and carers to ask an expert panel questions relating to the issues and situations they face parenting their family member with autism.
Borrowing from the ABC Q&A format, AFSA assembled a panel of clinicians with expertise in ASD who addressed YOUR questions. It was an excellent day attended by 45 family members and interested persons. Summary notes about the questions asked and panel responses will be posted to our website on this page shortly as will some photos of the day in our AFSA Gallery.
AFSA would like to sincerely thank our wonderful moderator and panel members for their generous support of our Q&A Forum. Thanks especially to the parents/carers who contributed a range of personal and challenging questions which gave significant insight into the stresses and difficulties caring for a family member or members with autism.
Feedback from panel and audience members indicated strong support for this type of session and we will look to holding more sessions in this format in the future. NB Panel members can be contacted via their company/organisation websites – links below.
- Moderator – Professor Cheryl Dissanayake (Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, LaTrobe University)
- Laura Addabbo (Psychologist, The ASD Clinic)
- Lisa Vale (Occupational Therapist, Splash Therapy)
- Betty Mihelakos (Speech Therapist, Speech Pathology Australia)
- Karen McKinnon (Board Certified Behaviour Analyst**, Autism Partnership Australia)
- Sophie Kerr (Director, PECS Australia)
** Some extra information about BCBA’s – the Victorian Department of Education implemented a BCBA pilot project in 2018 – whilst all places in the pilot have been filled, this page on the department website has quite a bit of information that maybe useful.
AFSA AGM 2017
Our 2018 committee was confirmed with the same membership as in 2017. New members to our committee are always welcome – we meet monthly in Burwood. We need committee members with an interest in and the capacity to take on specific roles in the organisation and administration of our association. You can download a nomination form here and email or post it to us.