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Disability News

Disability News from Australia
On The Second day of May 2000 A special General Meeting of The Council for the disABLED inc. Passed The Following Special Resolution:-

The Name of the association be changed From Council for the disABLED incorporated.
TO Regional Information and Advocacy Council Incorporated. by unanimous vote.

There were also a few other minor changes to the constitution that were also carried.Thes changes were basicly to make the wording more easily understood or to bring it in line with the changing role of the organization.

Ed Crain (Life Member)

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For Australia only

Regional Information and Advocacy Council.

Reg No. A001053J
PO B,, 1763
Shepparton 3632

Offices: 93 Nixon Street.  Shepparton

Phone: (03) 5822 1944
Fax: (03) 5831 1610
TTY: 1800 221 844 127 Mitchell Street.  Bendigo
Phone: (03) 5443 0b50
Fax: (03)54435178 122 Ninth Street.  Mildura
 Phone (03) 5023 6998
 Fax: (03) 5023 1833

 210 Beveridge St. Swan Hill
 Phone (03) 5032 0092

The Regional Information and Advocacy Council is an association of individuals
with disabilities and primary carers funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian
Governments to provide an independent advocacy service for people with DisAbilities.

Chief Executive Office:Kim McRae

West Hume Co-ordinator: David Harcoan

Advocates:         Carmel Williams
                   Karen Kelly
                   Sara Cavanagh
                   Bonney Dietrich
Administration:Nicole Damon

Chairman: Pam Musumeci
Vice Chairman: Greg Cochrane
Secretary: Robin Hawood
Treasurer: Murray Shields
Committee: Lindsay Church., Gabrielle Poustie, Darryl Coyne,
Sue McPherson and John Hort,

The contents of this issue have been selected in an attempt to extend
the knowledge, improve practices and promote communication of issues
of concern to people with disabilities,.their families, professional
workers and other individuals or organisation concerned with the welfare
of people with disabilities.

Opinions expressed are those of the original authors and do not necessarily
reflect those of the Council. 

Persons acting on any opinion, advice or advertisements in the issue do so
at their own risk.

Articles and items of interest are welcome.

Understanding and Living with Autism

By Melinda Printon

If you live with someone who has autism, dealing with day to
day life can be very difficult and trying. Many people don't
understand what exactly autism is and how it affects a
person's life, and the lives of their loved ones. Autism is
a disability that affects development.

Generally speaking, autism is diagnosed when a child is
between 18 and 36 months. Since there are no physical
symptoms, it's very hard to diagnose. Autism is known as a
spectrum disorder since it affects people in so many ways.
Parents usually become aware of it when their child is at
the normal age for speaking and developing cognitive skills.
Autism now occurs more frequently in children than Down
syndrome. For some reason, more boys have it than girls, and
unfortunately, there isn't a cure.

While there is no specific cause of autism, several factors
are thought to contribute to the disorder. There are certain
differences in the brain that can be linked to genetics and
biochemical problems. Food allergies are also thought to be
a factor in the cause of autism.

The symptoms of autism are typically a lack of social and
communication skills. Each child experiences these problems
differently, but it is a common trait. Some children
experience a reduced rate of learning these communication
skills, while others will seem to be developing normally and
begin to regress at some point, usually before 36 months.

Children with autism do not engage in pretend games that
require active imagination. They are generally withdrawn and
stay away from other children. Another sign of autism is
that the child will exhibit repetitive behaviour like moving
back and forth. In severe cases the child may not speak at
all, whereas in other cases they will display normal growth
but at a slightly slower rate.

Families living with autism can find life very difficult and
may avoid other family members as well as friends. It's
draining on a parent's mental and physical resources. If you
have an autistic child, look for a support group. There are
many of them available to help you handle the life that
comes with autism.

Even though there isn't a cure for autism, you can find
treatment options to aid you in communicating with your
child. Some autistic children are able to integrate into
classes with non-autistic children. If this doesn't work
with your child, remember that each one is unique. Some
autistic children do well in classes with other autistic

Since each instance should be considered on a case by case
basis, talk to your doctor about treatment options. You may
have to practice some trial and error until you find the
right program for your child.

Many parents are frightened by the prospect of having autism
in their families, but it's possible for these special
children to lead happy and fulfilled lives. Do plenty of
research to educate yourself and others involved with your
family. In many cases this will keep disruption to your
family at a minimum. One great place to start discussions is
at online forums, especially if you can't find a support
group to attend. In any event, talk to your doctor before
you try any treatment options.

Melinda Printon is the owner and operator of Full Info on Autism,
the web's premier resource for information about
<a href="http://www.fiautism.com">Autism</a>,
For more articles on Autism visit:


edcrain @ edcrain.net

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