Surging autism a headache for NDIS

Surging autism a headache for NDIS
The number of children with ­autism has jumped almost 10 per cent in the past year alone, adding to a surge of diagnoses which have left families and government scrambling for answers.
Unpublished data from the ­Department of Social Services shows there are almost 80,000 children aged 15 and under with a primary disability of autism who qualify their parents for the Carer Allowance (child), with slightly more than 6000 diagnosed in the year to June.
But there appears to have been a marginal slowdown in the rate of increase, with diagnoses growing at an average 18.3 per cent a year between 2004 and 2011 but 10.9 per cent since 2011.
Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia convener Bob Buckley said despite the increases “governments seem reluctant to recognise or address the challenges that Autism Spectrum Disorder present”.
Official autism data is updated every three years by the Australian Bureau of Statistics but the figures for last year have not been released.
The number of people diagnosed with autism in Australia ­almost doubled between 2003 and 2006, and has doubled every three years since, to 115,000 in 2012. The figures show about 2.5 per cent of children aged 10 to 14 are autistic.

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