Wow. I know one commenter who will have a field day with the range of thoughts out of Australia regarding the increase in autism.
By Anne Dachel
Australia can’t figure out what to do about all the autism. One report puts their autism rate at one in every 25 children, another at one in 23.
Experts are in denial. It’s either over-diagnosing or more of the “better diagnosing” that we’ll always hearing about. Either way, it’s NOT MORE AUTISM. Nothing to worry about.
On November 12th there was a story out of Australia about closing special schools and mainstreaming disabled students by being “inclusive.”
I’m sure this was motivated by the soaring number of special needs children they have to educate.
In its final report handed down in September, the disability royal commission called for the phasing out of segregated education by 2051.
It's a call that has sparked deep debate.
Even the six commissioners disagree. Only three — including the two who live with disability — recommended phasing special schools out. The other three did not think a total phasing out of special schools was necessary.
"There has to be a bigger investment in our [mainstream] education system. And this is an opportunity to do that, for it to be better for all."
Of course the real problem is something that barely got a mention.
Since 2015, the number of students with disability enrolled in Australian public schools has increased by 29 per cent, according to the Australian Education Union's 2023 For Every Child report.
How do they explain an increase of almost 30 percent in less than 10 years?.
Of course, they don’t.
The call for inclusion came on the heels of an announcement that there’s been a 25% increase in autism diagnoses between 2015 and 2018.
Nov 12, 2023, Medical Republic: MBS shake-up needed to support autism care
The RACGP has provided input into the National Autism Strategy, which closed for submissions on 30 October, outlining the important role for GPs as the first port of call for autism care and the need for better remuneration.
A growing number of Australians are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder each year – there was a 25% increase between 2015 and 2018.
In 2022, the federal government announced the development of the National Autism Strategy, which would cover “key reform areas including access to services, healthcare, education, and employment”.
That same day it was announced that Australia’s autism rate had reached one in every 25 children, which would also mean one in every 16 boys. In trying to explain this stunning rate it was alleged that some parents were scamming the system to get their kids qualified for services they don’t really need.
Nov 8, 2023, Sydney Morning Herald: The unique factor that could explain why autism rates in Australia are growing faster than the global average
Autism rates in Australian children are among the highest in the world, leading a senior researcher to suggest the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) could be driving steeper than average growth in diagnoses.
“It is plausible that the growth of prevalence rates above the global average in Australia can be attributed to the financial incentives created by government policy, specifically the implementation of the NDIS.”…
They will seek reforms to make the scheme more sustainable given projections that its annual cost will soar to more than $100 billion [$64 B U.S.] by 2032, in part due to a higher-than-forecast number of children joining with autism.
More than 75 per cent of NDIS participants under 18, and 45 per cent overall, have autism or developmental delay, which can often precede an autism diagnosis.
Ranjan said neurodiversity and autism were no longer rare, …
Ranjan’s research, which has not been peer reviewed, quotes international studies that show autism prevalence rates of one in 36 children in the United States, one in 50 children in Canada, and one in 57 children in the United Kingdom. In Australia, it is about one in 25 [one in every 16 boys].
Coverage from Skye News also made the claim that autism really isn’t this bad in Australia; it’s really OVER DIAGNOSING.
Nov 22, 2023, Sky News: ‘Turbocharged’ neurodiversity movement: Rising number of young children on NDIS
Psychiatrist Dr Tanveer Ahmed says he’s interested in seeing how the government will try to claw back the broad autism label, as data shows 12 per cent of boys aged between five and seven are on the NDIS.
“We’ve basically turbocharged a sort of neurodiversity movement and these huge incentives to have these labels,” he told Sky News host Chris Kenny.
“Now the government wants to claw this back – it will not be easy.
“There’s such a strong interest group around this now.
“While they’re making noises that they’re going to claw it back, I’ll be very interested in seeing how they do that.”
News anchor speaking on the revelation that 12 percent, a full 12 percent, of boys aged between five and seven in this country are on the NDIS! Twelve percent! More than one in 10! And it’s five percent for girls! Why is this happening, Tanveer?
Psychiatrist Dr Tanveer Ahmed: Autism has become this board label that now sucks up all manner of social and behavioral problems, and there’s a huge financial incentive to do so.
As a result, we basically turbo charged a sort of neurodiversity movement. …
Claire Rowe: Child and Adolescent Psychologist: We’re saying 12 percent of young boys are disabled in this country. Clearly everyone knows that’s not the case. …
The Guardian weighed in on the issue presenting the parents’ side and denying that there is a financial incentive for them to have a child diagnosed with autism.
An advocate for people with disabilities has criticised as “unhelpful” and “misleading” reports suggesting families are pursuing autism diagnoses because they see the NDIS as a financial opportunity.
“The NDIS isn’t a sort of financial incentive,” said Skye Kakoschke-Moore, chief executive of Children and Young People with Disability Australia.
“At the moment, the NDIS feels like the only place to turn for children and young people with disability when they need support. But what we also know is at the moment, the current system is broken. It’s unfair, it’s complicated, and really, it’s not delivering results for children and young people with disability.”…
The real issue, as far as the government is concerned, is not MORE AUTISM, but HIGHER COSTS
Shorten has been championing the need for reform of the NDIS and what he calls the “disability support ecosystem” since last year, when the October budget projected that the cost of the program would increase from $35bn [$23B] in 2022-23 to $52bn [$34B] in 2025-26.
The cost of the NDIS is projected to grow by approximately 14% per year without intervention; the federal government aims to cap the scheme’s growth to 8% per year.
Another story put Australia’s rate at one in every 23 children, and we were advised not to worry about the numbers, but to celebrate autism.
Ahead of the release of the government’s review into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the topic taking centre stage is the diagnosis of autism. Over one third of people accessing the scheme list it as a primary disability….
Is autism “over diagnosed” in Australia due to the NDIS, or is it being better identified? What the data really shows
Recently reported non-peer reviewed research suggests the NDIS has fuelled Australia’s diagnosis rates to be among the highest in the world at one in 25 children. But the same research reported Japan – with early identification and supports in place since the early 1990s – has similar rates.
The United Kingdom reports a prevalence rate of one in 34, based on 2000–2018 data for 10- to 14-year-olds.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a 2020 prevalence rate of one in 36 children aged eight.
Before the full nationwide rollout of the NDIS, 2020 research based on the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children showed a prevalence rate of one in 23 (4.4%) in 12- to 13-year-olds – even higher than the recently reported paper claiming NDIS was driving up autism diagnosis rates.
Increases in autism over time could be the result of better diagnosis
We’re getting better at identification…
Another reason for the rise of autism diagnosis is a phenomenon known as “diagnostic overshadowing”. This is a tendency to explain all differences in a person based on their primary diagnosis….
Australia is at the forefront of identifying autism early, consequently improving children’s and families’ quality of life. Our rates of early diagnosis should be celebrated, not demonised.
Regardless if this is better diagnosing or over diagnosing, the numbers just can’t be real.
No one wants to consider for a moment that something is causing massive numbers of Australian children to be seriously disabled. That can never be the topic. It’s much better to celebrate autism.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.
The Wuhan Cover-Up: And the Terrifying Bioweapons Arms Race (Children’s Health Defense)
“Gain-of-function” experiments are often conducted to deliberately develop highly virulent, easily transmissible pathogens for the stated purpose of developing preemptive vaccines for animal viruses before they jump to humans. More insidious is the “dual use” nature of this research, specifically directed toward bioweapons development. The Wuhan Cover-Up pulls back the curtain on how the US government's increase in biosecurity spending after the 2001 terror attacks set in motion a plan to transform the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), under the direction of Dr. Anthony Fauci, into a de facto Defense Department agency.