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Autism week highlights need for forum.

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During Autistic Spectrum Australia’s Autism Awareness Week 2005 (9-13 May), Canning MHR Don Randall was pleased to confirm that the Australian Government will hold a forum in June this year in order to raise public awareness of Autism.

“At the forum, the current research into Autism including genetic links, exposure to viral diseases and infections, metabolic disorders and physical traumas like birth injury will be discussed,” said Mr Randall.

“With almost 20,000 Australians affected by autism and its related disorders, it is important we communicate the current funding and research programmes to the wider community,” said Mr Randall.

Through the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Government invests almost $800,000 a year in autism research.

“There is strong evidence of a neurological basis to autism as new methods of studying brain anatomy point to consistent differences between the brains of autistic and non-autistic people.”

Mr Randall is eager to be involved with and promote the programs which assist those affected by autism, as he has met several people within the electorate of Canning who face the challenge of raising autism affected children.

“I am constantly amazed by the strength of these parents. It is important to them that they have a representative who can act as a direct link and take their queries and concerns to the Australian Government.”

Mr Randall has signed on to the Politician Adoption Scheme run by the Developmental Disability Council of Western Australia Inc. Mr Randall will be ‘adopted’ by an autistic boy who represents all people with a disability and will advocate for his needs and rights.

“Autism continues to be a vital priority of the government as there is no single known cause of the disease.”

“The forum and continued governments support for research into the disorder are very positive steps,” Mr Randall said.