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Bartlett launches autism package.

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Kerry Bartlett MP The Federal Member for Macquarie

4/186 Macquarie Road, PO Box 376 Springwood NSW 2777 Ph: 4751 7494 Fax: 4751 7495


Bartlett Launches Autism Package

As part of a simultaneous launch across Australia, Federal Member for Macquarie, Kerry Bartlett, today announced a package of initiatives to help children and young people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD,) their families and carers.

“This package is worth $190.7 million over five years,” said Mr Bartlett, and includes funding for an early intervention programme to assist children with autism and their families to gain access to better support and services,” said Mr Bartlett.

“This is something that I hope will greatly assist children with autism and their families,” said Mr Bartlett. “It will provide up to 15,000 families, carers and children with access to a range of education, support and early intervention services.”

“Eligible families and carers will be able to access up to $8,000 in services, at no cost to them, over two years, for approved early intervention services,” said Mr Bartlett. “Families and carers supporting children with the most profound needs will be able to access up to $10,000 in services, for up to two years.”

“There will also be 200 new autism specific playgroups, and twenty new childhood autism advisers will help families find the best services to meet the needs of their particular child,” said Mr Bartlett.

Other elements of the package include: • Training and support for parents of young children with autism • New Medicare funded services to diagnose autism spectrum disorders and provide follow up services • Workshops and information sessions for parents with school aged

children with autism.

• Professional development for teachers and other school staff ($16 m)

“This package will be implemented across three portfolios, and this cross portfolio approach reflects the extent of the need with data showing that ASD affects between 1 in 100 and 1 in 150 children aged 0 to six years old,” said Mr Bartlett.

General assistance for disability has been provided through the Commonwealth State Disability Agreements to support the States who have primary responsibility in this area of policy delivery. However, the Australian Government wanted to do more and recently announced an additional $1.8 billion Disability package.

The support services will be provided from July 2008.

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Enquiries: 4751 7494 3 October 2007