Autism Spectrum Disorder

June 30 2010

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. A.M. Bressington:

That this council calls on the Minister for Disability as a matter of urgency to—

1.Increase funding to Autism SA and any other similarly funded non-government organisation to enable them to provide services and support for people diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder—Not Otherwise Specified commensurate to those available to people with autism and Asperger's Syndrome; and

2.Implement measures to—

(a)address any disparity in services and support provided by Disability SA between people diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder—Not Otherwise Specified and autism and Asperger's Syndrome;

(b)ensure a single definition of Autism Spectrum Disorder that encapsulates Pervasive Developmental Disorder—Not Otherwise Specified is used universally throughout government departments and agencies;

(c)improve access to and expedite diagnostic services for Autism Spectrum Disorder; and

(d)increase awareness of this condition so as to aid early identification, community acceptance and decrease the associated stigma.

 

The Hon. T.A. JENNINGS (16:43): I rise on behalf of the Greens to support this motion moved by the Hon. Ann Bressington. The Greens commend the Hon. Ann Bressington for bringing this matter to the attention of the council. We are happy to put on record our support also for the increase of any focus on the issues of disability in this state. I note that in this motion we are looking to broaden the definition of autism spectrum disorder to encapsulate 'pervasive development disorder—not otherwise specified', which from here on in I shall call PDD-NOS, not least because it is quite difficult to say but also because obviously it is clearly difficult to get any money for.

I point to the problems with a concept of social inclusion, where a society seeks to make those who do not quite fit—the square pegs—fit into the round hole of society. I think that it is society that should be including those people who are currently excluded. Currently, those with PDD-NOS are excluded, whether it is in our funding or recognition of their diagnosis.

One of the most frustrating things must be to be tempted to get an incorrect diagnosis which, of course, serves no great purpose for anyone. We need to realise that our knowledge in this area has moved on and that PDD-NOS is diagnosed when the criteria are not met for more specific disorders. It is recognised around the world, and, indeed, I believe, in most other states and certainly the commonwealth of this country, that PDD-NOS is an autism spectrum disorder. I commend Ann Bressington again for raising this matter and indicate that the Greens will be supporting this motion.

 

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