keywords: Autism

  • RELIGION

    Jack baptised himself

    • Julie Perrin
    • 16 July 2019
    8 Comments

    The first time Jack came to the church he baptised himself. The font was new, the water inviting, and he dunked his ten-year-old head right in. The font had recently been installed in the foyer on a sculpted piece of redgum. The brief for the designers was to make it accessible to all ages. They were delighted to hear of its instant appeal.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Children speak truth to climate inaction

    • Cristy Clark
    • 13 March 2019
    21 Comments

    My children will be walking out of school for the School Strike 4 Climate Action. My eldest says she wants 'to protest that adults should actually do something about this planet that is dying, because we're all going to die with it'. She sees climate change action as a black and white issue.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Meet the robots who would be human

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 22 February 2019
    1 Comment

    More Human Than Human's exploration of the history and present reality of artificial intelligence is not a tale of terror. It is a thoughtful and nuanced engagement with the people who are making, using, or thinking about AI; those who have been touched by its life-changing potential, or come a-cropper of its more sinister aspects.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rethinking work to embrace diversity

    • Kate Galloway
    • 09 April 2018
    7 Comments

    Employable Me follows a group of neuro-diverse young people as they search for meaningful work. The insights the program offers are a call to think about the world of work and the role of employment as a social good rather than a purely economic one, and how we make employment more inclusive.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Silent Jack's birthday grace

    • Julie Perrin
    • 13 February 2018
    18 Comments

    Family and friends gather to wish happy birthday to the boy who does not speak and whose hearing and seeing are easily overloaded. The headphones are designed to cut sound out not bring it in. Even before his diagnosis at 18 months, Jack's parents were translating the world to him. Since then they've been translating him back to the world.

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  • EDUCATION

    Best of 2017: Hanson's autism remark misses value of diversity

    • Madeleine Hamilton
    • 11 January 2018
    2 Comments

    The mood was subdued at the gates of our small Catholic primary school at 3:30pm on Wednesday. Ten per cent of our school's students have an autism diagnosis, and for their parents who had read Pauline Hanson's comments to the Senate that afternoon, those familiar feelings had been activated yet again.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Leaving behind an adult son on the spectrum

    • Jennifer Pont
    • 10 November 2017
    13 Comments

    Services are stretched. My son was discharged from services due to the loss of staff in the public system. Success with applications can come down to what a doctor emphasises in their report. At eight, he could reach out and place a piece of bread in a toaster, so the doctor ticked the 'prepare a basic meal' box.

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  • EDUCATION

    Hanson's autism comments miss the value of diversity

    • Madeleine Hamilton
    • 22 June 2017
    19 Comments

    The mood was subdued at the gates of our small Catholic primary school at 3:30pm on Wednesday. Ten per cent of our school's students have an autism diagnosis, and for their parents who had read Pauline Hanson's comments to the Senate that afternoon, those familiar feelings - dismay at the ignorance and lack of empathy of some people, worry for the future, and defiant pride in their diverse children - had been activated yet again.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Dickensian England lives on in Australia

    • Kate Galloway
    • 26 August 2016
    15 Comments

    Oliver Twist is still used to aid understanding of the trauma arising from poverty, and the suffering of children at the hands of individuals and within institutional settings. In broader Australian society we assume Dickensian attitudes to children have evolved. Aligned with the sentiments behind child protection, society's image of children and childhood is idyllic. Yet beneath this veneer lies a substratum of deeply ambivalent, even malevolent, attitudes towards children with a distinctly Dickensian flavour.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Being myself doesn't work

    • Paul Micallef
    • 29 February 2016
    11 Comments

    Autism typically makes people less likely to care what others think. When I was younger my default was to do what I wanted, to 'be myself', and not worry if others were not doing the same thing. You can imagine what happens when I put this into action: I end up alone. I am the only one not dancing. I am the only one who wants to crank the metal music at 7am. I like people. I want to share my experiences. But often my choice often comes down to: 'Do I be myself? Or do I be around others?'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My autistic superpower

    • Paul Micallef
    • 26 October 2015
    9 Comments

    My brain lacks a degree of 'pre-programming'. I am naturally open-minded and non-judgemental. When asked a question I immediately (often dispassionately) think of many possible solutions. This is great for questions like 'How can we improve this system?', and less good for questions like 'On which body part do you wear your pants?' The secret to learning social rules is in understanding emotions. Knowing what is 'appropriate' often comes down to how it makes the other person feel.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    This boy's life on the autism spectrum

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 09 April 2015
    2 Comments

    Nathan was diagnosed when he was young, and was encouraged by his parents to view the diagnosis as a gift rather than a curse. It manifests in part as a prodigious talent for mathematics. Nathan finds patterns soothing, and so mathematics becomes a refuge as much as an academic interest. He shares a close bond with his father, but his mother, despite her best efforts, struggles to connect in the same way.

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