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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Items on Autism Outside the USA

The Herald Sun reports on Australia:

VICTORIA'S education system is being stretched by a huge increase in the number of students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

More than 4000 autistic students receive about $84 million in taxpayer financing today - double the 2006 figures, according to Education Department data.

The money is used in mainstream and specialist schools to support autistic students who are eligible for disability support.

But some parents in the city's west are upset that a specialist autism school in Niddrie offers only four years of education while autistic students in other suburbs can go up to year 12

Northern Life reports on Canada:

Susan Alcorn-MacKay, who founded the college’s [Cambrian College] disability services program 23 years ago, recently wrote a report about the topic.

The report, entitled Identifying Trends and Supports for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder Transitioning into Postsecondary, was commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO).

One of the report’s recommendations is that post-secondary institutions hire autism coaches to help students with the disorder navigate their studies and the social aspect of life at college or university.

“They would work with the student to try to minimize the trauma or the problems moving into the school,” she said.

The report also recommends there be “safe rooms” where students with autism would be able to go and calm themselves down if they become overstimulated.
Balkan Insight reports on Kosovo:

According to Kosovo’s official figures, autism is virtually non-existent, with just six cases registered by the Ministry of Health. Hatixhe Zogaj, one of the few educational experts trained to deal with autism, estimates the true number could be around 400. But comparisons with figures from Western countries suggest the number could be many times larger. ... Children must go out of the country if they want to get a proper diagnosis for their mental health problems. For those fortunate enough to find out what is wrong with their children, Kosovo only has one school that is able to support them.

The Times reports on South Africa:

Nono Njongwe, who has worked as a speech therapist in a rural South African school and clinic, says autism is sometimes left undiagnosed because strange behaviour is often kept hidden.

"What you're fighting," she says, "is a belief system that says, 'White people go to the doctor. We do something else. We speak to our ancestors.' Many mothers feel guilty that their children are sick. They think it's because they skipped a ritual. And sometimes husbands blame their wives for producing children that aren't normal. So moms generally think that it's best just to avoid a diagnosis."