Talks and Wellbeing

Well it's certainly been a crazy few weeks around here. April's Autism Awareness month saw a flurry of requests for talks, presentations, discussions and blog posts. In the last 3 weeks alone I've given presentations at Aspergers Victoria, the Melbourne Autism Expo, the Aspect Autism in Education Conference, and at John Monash Science School. I hope you managed to get along to an event or expo, or just read some of the many new articles online, to increase your own knowledge about living well on the spectrum.

One study I've had the good fortune to be involved with recently is the Australian Wellbeing Project.  While quality of life and happiness (or subjective wellbeing) have been studied for over 30 years, it is only recently that individuals with autism have been asked about their happiness levels across seven domains: standard of living, health, achieving in life, relationships, safety, community, and future security. There is some data showing autistic adults are less happy than non-autistics, by about 10 points on the Personal Wellbeing Index. 

Now it is time to give teenagers on the spectrum their chance to inform policy development. If you are the parent of an adolescent aged 13+, or an adult aged 18+, please give 15 minutes of your time to participate in this important research. The team at Deakin University require a few hundred participants, both with and without autism, to complete the online survey, and are offering a prize draw for completed surveys.  Parents will be sent a link for adolescents to complete their own 5 minute survey.

Click on the link here to read more about the project and to start the survey http://www.wellbeingindex.net.au/

After such a busy month, I'm looking forward to increasing my own wellbeing with a little more time for researching, writing, editing and catching up on sleep!  

 

Medicare Safety Net Explained

Last night I presented my two hour 'Finding Fee Relief and Funding' talk to families for Aspergers Victoria, at the Nerve Centre in Blackburn, Victoria. It was a great night, with a very engaged and inquisitive audience, and as always, lots of communal sharing of tips, ideas and strategies. 

Overall I covered 18 different ways to access funding and rebates for individuals and families with Aspergers and autism.  As the Medicare Safety Net generated a lot of discussion I thought I'd go over it again here. While it's easy for families to register and obtain maximum rebates for their out-of-pocket medical and allied health expenses, this is one of those things that some families don't know about, which means they could be missing out on extra benefits from the Government.

 

How does it work?

The Medicare Safety Net provides financial assistance to individuals and families who are experiencing high costs for out-of-hospital medical services. If those services attract a Medicare rebate, they are counted towards your threshold. Before you reach the threshold, your Medicare benefit will be 85% of the scheduled fee, regardless of what the service provider actually charged you. After you reach the threshold, your Medicare benefit will be 80% of your out-of-pocket expenses. This is for all eligible future services, for the whole family, for the rest of the calendar year.

While individuals are automatically registered for Safety Net, couples and families MUST register with Medicare to have their combined expenses count towards the family safety net threshold. Even if you are all on the one Medicare card, you still need to register. You only need to do this once. Registering is simple - you just download, complete and post the form from the Medicare website, or call them on 132 011, or drop into a Medicare Service Centre (if you can find one!)

 

What are the thresholds?

For 2016 they are:

Original $447.40 - All Medicare cardholders will receive 100% of the scheduled fee for out-of-hospital services, after their gap amount (difference between Medicare benefit and scheduled fee) reaches this level.

Extended Concessional $647.90 - Concession card holders (eg Health Care Card) and families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A will receive back 80% of their out-of-pocket costs on out-of-hospital services, once their out-of-pocket costs (difference between Medicare rebate and what you actually paid) reach this level.

Extended General $2030 - All Medicare cardholders, and registered families will receive back 80% of their out-of-pocket costs on out-of-hospital services, once their out-of-pocket costs (difference between Medicare rebate and what you actually paid) reach this level.

 

 

Why should I bother?

Because it can make quite a difference to your overall costs! 

Take a trip to the psychologist, for example.  Many Aspies experience times of anxiety or depression, and may consult with a psychologist for help with individualised strategies to overcome this. A common fee for a 50 minute session with a clinical psychologist is $200.

If you visit your GP first, to get a Mental Health Care Plan, you can get Medicare rebates for the cost of these services. That 50 minute session will now cost you much less - the Medicare rebate is 85% of the scheduled fee, which at $99.75 is less than half the actual rate. So your rebate of $84.80 leaves you $115.20 out-of-pocket.

As an individual, your rebate for this service will remain the same until you reach the original threshold of $447.40, at which point your rebate will increase to 100% of the scheduled fee. You will now be out-of-pocket $100.25 ($200-$99.75).

Now, if you (or your child) has a health care or other concession card, once you reach the Extended Concessional threshold of $647.90, your rebate will increase to 80% of your out-of-pocket cost. So now the $200 psychology session will cost you $40 ($200-$160).

If you don't register your family, you won't start receiving the higher 80% rebates until you each individually spend $2030 on out-of-pocket costs, or trigger the Extended Concessional threshold by having a concession card, or start receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A. 

Wouldn't you rather save $60 per session? Just for making a phone call?

Another thing - if your child has their own Health Care Card, say because you've applied for the Carer's Allowance after receiving their Autism Spectrum diagnosis, their expenses will count towards their own Extended Concessional Threshold, AND your family safety net threshold at the same time. 

 

What happens when my child turns 18?

Good question. The even better answer is nothing, at least while they are a full time student. Your child will stay registered with your family until they turn 25. At this point they will automatically drop off the family registration and start counting towards their own individual safety net. If your child does leave full time study, you must notify Medicare.

Even if they get their own Medicare card (which you can do once they turn 15), they will still be registered as part of your family until you notify Medicare they've stopped studying, or they turn 25, which ever comes first.

To help your teenager or young adult obtain their own Medicare card, click here.

 

Take Home Tips

  1. Register your family for Safety Net ASAP
  2. Lodge Medicare claims for all expenses ASAP. In person, online, or via the Medicare Express Plus App
  3. Ask your GP about programs such as the Mental Health Care Plan or Chronic Disease Management Plan, to lower your medical and allied health costs - they may not realise you could do with some help!
  4. See Medicare Safety Net for more details, or to download the family registration form.

 

This is just one small snippet of information I can explain to your group if you book me for a Funding talk. Or you can get many more tips like this in my book The Hidden Diffability: Discovering Aspergers.

Please sign up for my Hidden Diffability Newsletter to keep up to date.

Good luck on your Aspergers Journey!

 

 

 

 

Melbourne Autism Expo - Celebrating Difference

I'm looking forward to presenting 'Successful Strategies for Secondary School' at the Melbourne Autism Expo on Saturday 30th April 2016 10am-5pm at the Karralyka Centre, Ringwood East. For only $15 for adults, $10 concession and free for kids under 16, families and individuals can access the latest useful and practical information, products and services about living on the Autism Spectrum. My presentation will be at 3:15pm, but there's plenty of other speakers to see before hand. Full details can be found at the Melbourne Autism Expo website. Please come and say hi.

Hope to see you there!

What Predicts Success for our kids?

What predicts success? A 2015 American study by the National Center for Learning Disorders found that having an Individual Education Plan wasn’t the most important factor. More important was having

  • strong support from parents,
  • a strong connection to friends and community, and
  • a strong sense of self confidence.

1200 young adults (1-2 years after leaving school, both with and without diagnosed learning issues) were surveyed about their school experiences, results, hobbies, family structure, services received, and life satisfaction. The results showed students with learning and attention issues could be grouped into ‘Navigators’, ‘Copers’ and ‘Strugglers’. The Navigators had the most positive outcomes post secondary schooling. What set them apart was having a positive mindset, strong family support, self advocacy skills, mentor support, community connection, early intervention, positive messages and high expectations from others.

Parents can help their children become successful navigators by doing the following:

  • Talk regularly with your kids about differences and disability.
  • Share your own strengths and weaknesses to help your child identify theirs.
  • Help children define themselves by their strengths, not their difficulties.
  • Encourage them to be confident in their abilities, and persevere when challenged. 
  • Help them pursue their passions to boost self esteem and build community connections.
  • Work with the school to develop an IEP (ILP in Australia) and transition supports.
  • Include children in discussions about them.
  • Act early – seek evaluations and assessments as soon as you have concerns.
  • Tackle negative messages, teasing or low expectations from teachers and peers.
  • Educate yourself; be informed about service options and supports, build collaborative relationships with experts.
  • Connect with other parents and build your own support networks.

For more information on the study visit Student Voices: A Study of Young Adults With Learning and Attention Issues

Welcome to our new website

In an effort to better reflect what we do these days, we've built this new website, which incorporates

  • the book series, The Hidden Diffability: Discovering Aspergers, and The Hidden Diffability: Aspergers At School,
  • public speaking, and
  • editing, proofreading and self publishing services via Blasck Publishing.  

We've also added a sign up form for my new regular newsletter, where you can find out about pre-order discounts for Aspergers at School, upcoming talks and appearances, and latest research in the Aspergers and autism field.

Enormous thanks to my clever husband Brett, for his design and technical expertise.

What comes first? Sensory Sensitivity, Anxiety, or Fear of the Unknown

A just published UK study has found that sensory sensitivities and anxiety in kids on the autism spectrum is largely driven by a fear of the unknown. Supporting our spectrum kids to learn coping strategies for uncertainty could have great benefits in reducing anxiety and sensory sensitivities.

The University College London study tested the relationships between anxiety, sensory sensitivity and intolerance of uncertainty in 64 children with autism and 85 typically developing children aged 6-14 years, all with at least average intelligence.

They found that 84% of children with autism have high levels of anxiety, while 70% have sensory sensitivities. Children with more severe degrees of sensory sensitivity had higher levels of anxiety and intolerance of uncertainty. The researchers believe that discomfort with uncertainty triggers anxiety, which makes sensory experiences seem threatening. According to lead researcher Elizabeth Pellicano from UCL, “autistic children want to have control over their environment to make it more predictable.”

Pellicano’s study provides more evidence to support the theory that unpredictability worsens both anxiety and sensory sensitivities. A 2014 study by Pawan Sinha from MIT theorised that children with autism overlook important clues and are often taken by surprise when a situation unfolds. Thus they view the world as unpredictable and overwhelming.

Helping children analyse past experiences to better predict the future may alleviate their distress, more so than trying to modify their environment, or limiting their exposure to stressful situations.

My take home message - help your child practise predicting future events using past experiences, either theirs or your own. Make a game of predicting possible outcomes for upcoming situations. 'What do you think will happen next, given what happened last time we went to ...?' Praise their logic when they come up with suggestions. Place bets if you have to!  Have fun with it.

Click on the links below if you'd like to know more about these studies.

I'd love to know how you go with this. Leave a comment below.

REFERENCES:

1.     Neil L. et al. J. Autism Dev. Disord. (2016) Epub ahead of print. PubMed

2.     Sinha P. et al. PNAS 111, 15220–15225 (2014) PubMed

 

So Many Expos!

2016 is shaping up to be the year of Autism Expos, it seems.

Here's just a few scheduled in Australia:

I'll be speaking at the April Melbourne Autism Expo, and presenting a poster at the Aspect Autism in Education Conference in May. There's plenty of other events happening, so check your local autism / Aspergers organisation for more.

Aspergers Vic and Hidden Diffability on TV

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed on TV about my work at Aspergers Victoria, and the writing of the Hidden Diffability series.

Nat Chat is a locally produced chat show, on which host Mirella Rich has conducted a series of interviews with Aspergers Victoria representatives and people with Aspergers over the last few months.

These interviews are screening on Channel 31 on Thursdays at 2pm, and can also be accessed via the Nat Chat YouTube Channel 

  • Series 6 Episode 3 is with myself, when I was Aspergers Victoria President Lyndel Kennedy
  • Series 6 Episode 4 is with current Aspergers Victoria President Tamsin Jowett
  • Series 6 Episodes 5 & 6 are with our friend Chris Varney, founder of the I Can Network
  • Later episodes will feature another friend of ours, Jeremy Samson, founder of Time 2 Train

I hope you enjoy learning more about the great work of Aspergers Victoria, and our wonderful friends and volunteers.

End of an (AV) Era

It's been a strange day today. Yesterday I finally handed over the keys (read manual, documents and passwords) to all the Aspergers Victoria systems and accounts I have been managing to the new Technology Coordinator.  A month ago, after the AGM, I handed over the President.  I am now, officially, no longer on the board.  

I'm not sure if this feeling is a little bit of separation anxiety, or something like the lurch in your chest when your child moves out of home.  I'm sure they'll be absolutely fine without me, as it's a truly marvellous team of experienced and enthusiastic volunteers we've built over the years. The program of events for 2016 is the biggest yet, and sure to have something to tempt overy member of the Aspergers family.

But for me, after nearly 8 years of volunteering with AV, often up to 30 hours per week, I'm hoping to find some balance in my life, and finally, time to finish the Hidden Diffability book series I started back in 2010. And time to update this website, and resume communicating with you!  Thank you for your patience while I've neglected you so badly.

Aspergers on TV

I'm sure you already know about Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, Max Braverman from Parenthood, Abed on Community, Boston Legal's Jerry, Sonya Cross from The Bridge, and a number of other TV characters with Aspergers. John Elder Robison has written a great article about TV's outing of Aspergers, and with the new DSM-5 removing Aspergers as a separate diagnosis, the potential implications for on screen characters.

It's well worth a read:

http://www.vulture.com/2013/07/aspergers-tv-the-bridge-diane-kruger-sheldon-cooper.html 

Finding Fee Relief and Funding for ASD Families - 8 Oct 2013

Tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th October at 7:30pm I will be presenting a 1 hour talk on how to recoup some of the costs of therapy and intervention for children with ASCs, organised by Voice and Movement, Drama for Everyday Living.

From the Voice and Movement Flyer:

Parent Support Program October 2013 Flyer

This is your invitation to attend the final of our four Parent Support Evenings in 2013.  These closed door evenings are designed to provide you with strategies to support your child’s learning in their Drama for Everyday Life Program and address issues many parents face. 

Tuesday, 8 October at 7.30pm. 

Box Hill Community Arts Centre, Drycraft East, 470 Station St, Box Hill.  

Having a child with Aspergers / on the autism spectrum can lead to increased expenses as families do their best to support and educate their children. Assessments, diagnostic sessions, therapies, interventions, drama and social skills classes all add up, and forms of fee relief or funding assistance can be hard to find.

Through research and interviews for her book The Hidden Diffability: Discovering Aspergers, personal experience and her volunteer work at Aspergers Victoria, Lyndel Kennedy has discovered many ways of accessing fee relief and rebates for families with children on the autism spectrum.

At this presentation Lyndel will outline at least 10 sources of funding to help parents with the ongoing costs of raising a child on the autism spectrum.  There will also be the opportunity to network with other parents so you can share strategies and ideas to support the whole family.

Lyndel Kennedy is a writer, researcher, editor and mother of three, including a teenager with Aspergers. She volunteers for Asperger Victoria as vice president, parent support group leader and website curator. The Hidden Diffability: Discovering Aspergers is her first book in a series of three.

 

 

Cost: Complimentary for Parents of Current Students Only. For other interested parents and professionals, the session is $97.

The presentation will go for a total of 1 hour, including small group discussion time and question time. 

For more information or to book a seat, please contact Voice and Movement on 03 9890 0728 or email info@voiceandmovement.com.au 

 

 

Kathy Lette's Asparagus Syndrome

Last Friday evening I attended a panel event at University of Melbourne's Festival of Ideas, titled Asparagus Syndrome. Panel members were author Kathy Lette, Autism CRC Ltd Chair Judy Brewer, comedian John Doyle, former Chair of Australian Centre for Child Protection Dorothy Scott, and Professor of child psychiatrist Jon Jureidini.

Kathy Lette spoke humorously about her experiences as an author and parent of a young man with Aspergers, and her habit of stealing from her own life to write her fiction. Her latest novel, The Boy Who Fell to Earth, provides many insights into her own parenting experiences, and those around her.

While there were many laughs on the night, some serious themes were also addressed, particularly once the debate was opened up to questions from the audience. Some quotes from Kathy

  • mainstream schooling is like a masterclass in low self esteem
  • autistic people are the garlic in life's salad
  • human rights begin at home
  • It's like he's drowning in his own brain waves
  • autism deniers have sceptecemia

The panel discussed out-dated theories of autism, such as the refridgerator mother and MMR vaccine, as well as current theories under investigation, inlcuding the extreme male brain, and testosterone levels in utero. However Judy Brewer, Chair of the Autism Collaborate Research Centre, confirmed that 70% of autism was attributed to a genetic basis, and that there most likely was many causes of autism, and many types of autism, yet to be discovered. 

Other topics touched upon were coping strategies, the need for more research funding ("breakthroughs can only come from research") adults with autism ("people with autism are adults for far longer than they are children"), the NDIS (needs based system, not diagnosis based, so eligibility for services will depend on severity of need) and the ideal that no conversation about people with Aspergers / autism should be held without people on the autism spectrum.

Siblings needs were raised at one point, and I was pleased to be able to announce Aspergers Victoria's new siblings group, which starts this Friday, 11th October. Details can be found here

Afterwards Kathy kindly posed for a photo with our group from Aspergers Victoria 

Kathy is returning to Melbourne for another autism event this Thursday 10th October. I'll update with details asap.

Wellbeing Resource for Parents and Carers

A few months ago I was asked to help write and edit a wellbeing resource for NDIS / DisabilityCare. It has just been made available to the public, and looks fantastic. I hope you'll take a few moments to read through it, and hopefully gain some great tips for taking care of yourself.

As the flight attendant always says, 'Please fit your own mask before helping others'. Without good self care (physical and emotional) we are less able to help and support our loved ones. Parenting and/or partnering someone with Aspergers is a lifelong gig, full of rich rewards, but nevertheless tiring at times.

You can find the resource here.

Please share as widely as you can.

If you'd like to share your best wellbeing strategies with me, I'd love to include them in my next two books in the Hidden Diffability series. You can send me an email by clicking here.

Coalition to revert DisabilityCare to NDIS

Senator Mitch Fifield, Victorian Senator for Victoria, and spokesman for NDIS, has written on the National Disability and Carers Alliance website that the Coalition will fully support the rollout of DisabilityCare, but will be reverting the name back to NDIS, as the Coalition feel that 

"Australians with disability don’t want to be objects of care. They want to be supported, independent, in charge and in control of their lives. That’s why the Coalition will revert to the term ‘NDIS’ rather than DisabilityCare Australia."

Read the whole blog at http://disabilitycareralliance.org.au/blog-mitch-fifield/

Beyond Early Intervention

I am looking forward to attending and speaking at the SAAIF Gippsland Autism Conference, which runs this Thursday and Friday, 1-2 August at Lardner Park, near Warragul.

Bronwyn Davis and the team at SAAIF (Support and Advocacy for Autism Individuals and Families) have brought together a great range of speakers addressing a multitude of Autism and Aspergers related topics.

I'll be talking about Successful School Strategies, based on my research for my next book, The Hidden Diffability: Aspergers at School, as well as the experiences I've gained at Aspergers Victoria, and of course with my own son.

While it's probably too late to book a seat, the conference proceedings will be recorded. Please contact the SAAIF team if you'd like more information, or to find out about future events. 

It's so exciting to see such dedicated activity in my home town.

www.saaif.org.au

 

Reflections on a pioneering career in Autism Research

Last month I was invited to attend the recording of an interview with OTARC Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre's patron, Professor Margot Prior.

Director of OTARC Professor Cheryl Dissanayake asked Margot to reflect her journey as a researcher, recounting the pioneering days of early intervention in Australia, her thoughts on the progress of research, and what the future holds for our communities affected by ASD.

It was a great interview, succint and powerful, and well worth spending 28 minutes to watch. It also includes Professor Prior's responses to questions from the audience.

You can view the interview with Professor Prior by clicking here to go to their website. I encourage you to take a look around at all the wonderful research and resources they have shared on their site, and to participate in their research if at all possible.

How to apply for school funding

At a recent parent support group meeting, our discussion covered anxiety medication, home-schooling, monologues, and the all important process of requesting additional assistance at school.   This is one of the few times the word 'disability' is useful to our Aspies.  Below I've written a summary for the state school system in Victoria.

To comply with the Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992, all education providers must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to accommodate a student with a disability. According to the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development's Program for Students with Disabilities Guidelines for Schools 2014, some example adjustments include 'the delivery of instructions in writing rather than verbally, sitting at the front of the classroom, or taking regular breaks to get up and move limbs or stretch their back. Others require more substantial adjustments, such as assistance with self-care or intensive supervision.'

It is worth noting that the Disability Standards for Education 2005 apply to all students with a disability, not just those who are deemed eligible for support under the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD), which provides targeted funding for students within the state school system.

Other state systems, Catholic and Independent schools have their own processes and programs, which I will be covering in my next book 'The Hidden Diffability: Aspergers At School'.

With the recent publication of the DSM-5, there has been much concern within the Aspergers community that support at school would be adversely affected. However, the new PSD Guidelines for 2014 include a program category for autism spectrum disorders, which now includes Aspergers.

To be eligible under the ASD category students must have:

  1. A diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder; AND
  2. Significant deficits in adaptive behaviour established by a composite score of two standard deviations or more below the mean on an approved standardised test of adaptive behaviours; AND
  3. Significant deficits in language skills established by a comprehensive speech pathology assessment demonstrating language skills equivalent to a composite score of two standard deviations or more below the mean.

 It all sounds pretty grim and severe, but it is worth talking to your child's teacher and health care professionals to see if your child might qualify. 

The Annual Round for applications closes on 19 July 2013. Applications will still be accepted after this for:

  1. students transferring from other school systems (including overseas and interstate)
  2. preps beginning in 2014
  3. students with a seriously deteriorating medical condition
  4. students with a seriously deteriorating behavioural condition, 'such that the student’s behaviour poses a significant safety risk to him or herself or others in the school'.

 

Supporting Evidence requirements for ASD

While it is the school's responsibility to gather the appropriate evidence, parents can help speed the process by providing copies of any assessments and reports they have. Your school may also be able to arrange for many of the reports required, such as the psychology and speech pathologist reports. However, if time is very short, you may be able to assist by arranging these reports privately, and using HCWA or other Medicare based funding. I cover funding methods and requirements in detail in The Hidden Diffability: Discovering Aspergers chapter 7 'Funding and Support'

  • A signed copy of the Application Summary Form
  • †A printed copy of the completed online Application Summary Form from Program for Students with Disabilities Management System 
  • †A Student Education Program Summary Statement (Goals and Strategies)
  • A covering letter from the Principal of the enrolling school
  • A multidisciplinary diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder* containing: 
    • † A paediatrician/psychiatrist report*
    • † A speech pathology report* 
    • † A psychology report*
  • †A signed report from a psychologist containing a current Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scale (not more than one year old)
  • A signed report from a speech pathologist containing a current comprehensive speech pathology assessment (not more than one year old)
  • Current evidence/appropriate reports to support agreed Educational Needs Questionnaire level 

Items marked with * provided as part of a student’s original application remain valid and do not need to be re-submitted for a Year 6–7 Review.

For children who already receive funding and are moving to year 7 next year, the review process only requires:

  • A signed report from a psychologist, containing a current Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scale (not more than one year old), AND
  • A signed report from a speech pathologist containing a current comprehensive speech pathology assessment (not more than one year old)

 

Please remember, even if your child does not qualify for additional funding under the PSD, you are still entitled to ask for 'reasonable adjustments' to be made, and for regular Student Support Group (SSG) meetings . Often these adjustments are not onerous for the teaching staff, and may benefit many other children in the classroom.   

To read more about the Program for Students with Disabilities, and about Student Support Group meetings, please see the DEEC's PSD Guidelines for 2014 or ask your school for guidance.

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

Radio Interview on 3WBC

In case you missed it, here's the podcast of my conversation with Iain Messor on his radio program 'Messeround' at 3WBC 94.1FM on Thursday 9th May 2013.

Iain and I had an enjoyable talk about why I wrote The Hidden Diffability: Discovering Aspergers, his own family's experiences with Aspergers, signs to look out for when you think a child might be on the autism spectrum, funding and assessment pathways, as well the work I and my colleagues do at Aspergers Victoria.

Please click on the link below to listen to the audio file:

Lyndel Kennedy 3WBC Hidden Diffability interview

'Living Life on the Spectrum' The Age 17 April 2013

Can you tell it's Autism Awareness Month? There are so many articles in the media about autism, Aspergers and the new DSM-5 it's getting hard to keep up!

After delivering a 90 minute presentation on 'The Hidden Diffability: Aspergers and the autism spectrum' to Anglicare's Parent Education Network in Preston this morning, it was great to see Konrad Marshall's powerful article about the real life challenges and joys of a Melbourne family with 3 children on the spectrum.  Along with Dr Richard Eisenmajer, Director of The ASD Clinic and Aspergers Victoria (ASSN) patron, I was pleased to be interviewed by Konrad for his article, which you can read online here

http://www.theage.com.au/national/living-life-on-the-spectrum-20130416-2hy6t.html

Or you can download a PDF of the article by clicking here