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An Autism Diagnosis - What Next?

<a href="/articles/an-autism-diagnosis-what-next">An Autism Diagnosis - What Next?</a>

On 13th May 2013 we are proud to be offering an exclusive webinar (online seminar) invitation to happychild visitors. Authors of the just-released Australian Autism Handbook will be presenting a one hour seminar on what to look for in an early intervention program and how to get funding and support. Five attendees will also receive a copy of the Australian Autism Handbook. Read full article

Giving Students with Autism a Creative Chance

<a href="/blogs/mihiriudabage/2013/03/19/giving-students-with-autism-a-creative-chance">Giving Students with Autism a Creative Chance</a>

At the Creativity Project event in Sydney last week, Professor Sandra Jones takes the stage, followed closely by her co-presenter, author, Lincoln P. Jones. Their topic is 'How educators can help and inspire young people and develop their creativity' and they have travelled a journey to find those answers together. Read full article

Breaking News - We Had Birthday Party Success

<a href="/blogs/benisonoreilly/2013/03/07/breaking-news-we-had-birthday-party-success">Breaking News - We Had Birthday Party Success</a>

Recently the Huffington Post featured an article called The Upside of Autism by Jackie Morgan MacDougall. It opened with these lines: "People often talk about the difficulties associated with parenting a child with autism..." MacDougall’s article rang many bells with me. Once you’ve stared into the abyss - as I did once when Joe, my then 3-year-old son with autism, was assessed as having moderate-to-severe developmental delay - any achievement, any milestone, is celebrated with extra fervour. Read full article

Reporting on Gun Crimes? Leave Autism Out of It

<a href="/blogs/benisonoreilly/2013/01/25/reporting-on-gun-crimes-leave-autism-out-of-it">Reporting on Gun Crimes? Leave Autism Out of It</a>

I have an 11-year-old son with autism. His lack of social understanding means he can occasionally be insensitive; he embarrassed me the other day by loudly pointing out the “fat lady” at the supermarket. He’s also the sweetest kid in the world. For no particular reason he will hug me and say, I love you.” Our son is socially naive, a babe in the wood; much more likely to experience hurt than to hurt others. When the dreadful news of the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, came through I crossed my fingers and hoped the words ‘autistic’ or ‘Asperger’s’ would not enter the equation, as they had after the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings. Read full article

An Argument for Using Science in the Treatment of Autism

<a href="/articles/an-argument-for-using-science-in-the-treatment-of-autism">An Argument for Using Science in the Treatment of Autism</a>

If Autism Spectrum Disorders are not treated with evidence-based interventions, it’s estimated that individual lifetime care costs could be as high as $US3.2million. Professor Karola Dillenburger from Queen’s University Belfast says governments investing in early, evidence-based intervention will be saving money for their communities and improving the chances of a child reaching their full potential. This article looks at the argument that parents should focus on evidence-based behavioural science to treat children with an ASD. Read full article

Changes to Autism Diagnostic Criteria - What Does this Mean for Families?

<a href="/blogs/yvettevignando/2012/09/19/changes-to-autism-diagnostic-criteria-what-does-this-mean-for-famili">Changes to Autism Diagnostic Criteria - What Does this Mean for Families?</a>

Benison O"Reilly, co-author of the Australian Autism Handbook, and Yvette Vignando appeared on Mornings on Channel 9 to talk about the changes to diagnostic criteria for children with autism - and more generally, about what is known about the risk factors for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Read full article

How to Support Siblings of Children with Special Needs

<a href="/articles/how-to-support-siblings-of-children-with-special-needs">How to Support Siblings of Children with Special Needs</a>

In spite of the challenges, many siblings say that having a brother or sister with a disability or chronic illness enriched their lives; that they have developed empathy, strength, tolerance and patience because of their sibling relationship. ...However, siblings of children with special needs do need special consideration. In Siblings Australia’s 2009 report, Supporting Siblings of Children with Special Needs, the authors refer to research indicating that siblings may experience “significant long-term physical and mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and relationship difficulties if their needs are left unaddressed. Read full article

Early Intervention Funding for Children with Autism

<a href="/blogs/yvettevignando/2012/03/21/early-intervention-funding-for-children-with-autism">Early Intervention Funding for Children with Autism</a>

This segment on Mornings on Channel 9 discusses the benefits of accessing early intervention for children with autism. The recommended minimum number of hours for early intervention is 20 per week but Australian government funding does not cover these significant costs. What can families do? Read full article

My Child has ADHD - So Now That's My Fault?

<a href="/blogs/benisonoreilly/2012/02/08/my-child-has-adhd-so-now-thats-my-fault">My Child has ADHD - So Now That&#039;s My Fault?</a>

Recently my fifteen-year old middle son, N, said to me, "Whenever I tell my friends my mum is allergic to the cold they think I’m making it up." I’m most definitely not making it up and have a written diagnosis from a rheumatologist to prove it. However, I thought it was ironic that N brought this up, as he also has a condition which many people seem keen to claim is ‘made up’ - attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD ... I get extremely annoyed when so called ‘experts’ suggest that ADHD may simply be a result of bad parenting, as in the case in this recent New York Times opinion piece. Read full article

Giving Your Children Choices Lays Good Foundations for Future

<a href="/blogs/benisonoreilly/2011/08/15/giving-your-children-choices-lays-good-foundations-for-future">Giving Your Children Choices Lays Good Foundations for Future</a>

Dr Jeffrey Pfeifer, a forensic psychologist from Swinburne University of Technology, was asked about some research he’d conducted into sixty American sports stars. Thirty of these stars were ‘models of professional behaviour’; the other thirty had been in trouble with the law. He found that: ": the group of individuals who had found themselves in trouble with the law were less likely to have experience in their lives with making choices whereas the ones who had not gotten into any trouble seemed to have a lot of experience in their lives from childhood up, making choices. Read full article