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Monday, November 13, 2023

Prevalence in Australia

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss international perspectivesI also discuss evaluationdiagnosis, and the uncertainty of prevalence estimates.

Maathu Ranjan and Dr Anthony Lowe, "Providing Better Support for Children with Autism and Developmental Delay," Actuaries Institute, September 2023."

Over the past ten years, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians living with disability — there is much to be proud of. However, the reality of the current Scheme is very different to the original vision. In large part, this is because the Scheme was envisioned and legislated based on the social model of disability but has been implemented using the medical model. One of the fastest-growing cohorts of participants is children, particularly children with autism and developmental delay. The system gives families little choice but to seek out formal medical diagnoses, resulting in considerable diagnostic waitlists and the prevention of timely access to early interventions, which evidence shows are most effective. We should use this current window of opportunity presented by the Independent Review of the NDIS to implement a social model of disability which would better support children and help make the NDIS financially sustainable by restoring specialist support in everyday settings and ensuring the support it provides is delivered in the most effective way. 

The Financial Review reproduces a graph from Ranjan's new paper.  See the LinkedIn post.