Log in
Log in


<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   Next >  Last >> 
  • 19 Apr 2023 12:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Aspergers Victoria was founded in 1991 by a group of peer families with the driving  purpose of inspiring, empowering and supporting Aspergers autistic individuals to be themselves and realise their ambitions through a feeling of belonging and being understood across their lives, while also empowering their allies and supporters.

    Our purpose has evolved to provide individuals, families, businesses and professionals with opportunities to connect, feel part of communities, grow self determination, and share knowhow, with a focus on autistic inclusion, strengths and respect in both the social space as well as in their employment.

    In 2013, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the standard used by mental health professionals in the United States, was updated to the DSM-5, and “Aspergers syndrome” was reclassified and removed as a separate diagnosis to instead become part of the autism spectrum. The reason behind this change was Aspergers’ similarity to autism which is regarded as a spectrum condition. Aspergers continues in use as a term but not a diagnosis under the World Health Organisation’s ICD-11 which is used elsewhere in Europe and Asia. For some time diagnosticians have continued to use the term to clarify the resources an individual could access.

    Over the last 10 years we’ve seen a further change with the emergence of the term ‘neurodiversity’, which refers to the diversity of all people, but it is often used in the context of autism spectrum conditions as well as other neurological or developmental conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or learning disabilities. The neurodiversity movement emerged following work by Judy Singer during the 1990s, aiming to increase acceptance and inclusion of all people while embracing neurological differences and has become an umbrella term to cover people with autism spectrum conditions, dyspraxia, dyslexia, ADHD, dyscalculia, Tourette syndrome and is expanding to include other differences.At AV we are driven by inclusivity and focusing on neuro-affirming practices, and following evolution in community feedback we believe that our current name ‘Aspergers Victoria’, no longer fully encompasses our community.Changing our name is not something that we are doing lightly; it has been a discussion topic at Board level for several years since the DSM change. Our primary purpose for making this important change includes the desire to:

    • Better reflect the views of the community we support
    • Reduce misunderstandings and unfavourable reactions in the workplace when using the term aspie / Aspergers
    • Ensure our name and brand no longer refers to a diagnosis that does not exist under the DSM-5 which clinicians in Australia tend to favour.
    • Move away from a name that is becoming regarded as not as inclusive for our  autistic individuals, and which, for some, is considered  a functioning descriptor. not having regard for the spectrum of  autistic strengths or abilities Further information: Autism Awareness Australia
    • Ensure our name is no longer associated with Hans Asperger, after whom “Aspergers Syndrome” was named by Uta Frith. There has been recent research about the activities of Hans Asperger, an Austrian paediatrician, who has more recently been regarded as associated with Nazi activities during that era in his country, giving the use of this name a negative connotation for some people. Further reading: Scientific American. Further reading: The Guardian

    We believe that our name needs to acknowledge more broadly that our membership is not only diagnosed autistic and are likely living with co-occurring conditions. Further reading: Very Well Mind

    As AV is dedicated to community codesign and involvement in our way forward, as well as representing our members’ needs, we want to hear your thoughts. Share your suggestions for our new name with us! Some of the name options we’ve been discussing in our team include:

    • Neurodivergent Australia

    • Neurodiversity Australia

    • Diverse Minds

    • Different Minds

    • Autistic Minds

    • Autism Inclusion Australia

    • Aspire Australia

    This is not an exhaustive list. We know that our community is extraordinarily diverse and creative and we’d love to hear your suggestions for our new name. There have been suggestions that no diagnostic type of term should be in our name whereas others have suggested it should be specific as it is key to clarify which part of our community we support. It’s interesting to note that most other autism organisations don’t include a diagnostic term (‘autism’ or ‘autistic’) in their names, and that there may also be future changes to the DSM.

    We are on our continuing journey of change with our key mission to best empower and support our community and this will have several stages of community consultation involved. 

    If you would like to share your feedback on this topic including name suggestions, we invite you to send an email to the dedicated email address we have set up for this project:

    We welcome your support, thoughts and feedback as we go through this critical process for our future sustainability.

  • 17 Nov 2022 9:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)provides supports for those who live with permanent disability to enable their economic social participation, as well as to close the gap between those with a disability and those typically developing. The demand for this life changing support through the NDIS has been unprecedented, and happened far more quickly than expected.

    The NDIS has close to 530,000 active participants with around 180,000 or about one third having a diagnosis of Autism. The average first support plan for those living with Autism is around $15,000 for 'low need’, $35,000 for ‘moderate need’ and $60,000 for ‘high need’. Some supports approach$100,000. Government estimates the NDIS budget is approaching $40 Billion, which passes funds allocated to Medicare and aged care.

    The NDIS scheme continues to face the problem of how it will pay for these essential supports, whilst adequately and appropriately meeting the needs of people with disability. Research suggests that Australian’s are proud of their efforts in supporting the scheme and that cost of the scheme is fair. The need for disability support is consistently identified as highthis is an investment into the lives of Australian’s who deserve a fair go. For this reason, amongst others, the NDIS needs to be high quality and effective. The government had an idea that independent assessments would help this process, yet this was rejected by Australian’s in 2021.

    The rejection of independent assessments taught the government a lesson. It needs to listen to those people who are living with disability and theyknow the best ways support their disability. This new way of listening to the people is called  codesign ’ and was made law with regard toNDIS processes in 2022. In March 2022, the NDIS  Information Gathering for Access and Planning Committee ’  (IGAP) began work making the NDIS better. The IGAP was the start of this new way of doing business by including the voice of disability in the NDIS. Aspergers Victoria (AV) has a voice through this committee and speaks about Autistic needs.

    The IGAP committee began listening to everyone involved in the NDIS, especially those living with disability. The IGAP requested AV to be involved. AV had their own focus group called a listening session. AV members were asked about how they tried to access NDIS supports. AV members also spoke about how good (helpful, effective, affirming, useful?) it was when they received help from the NDIS.

    The IGAP heard the voices of AV members and also the voices of many others living with a disability around Australia. Most of those voices said the same thing. They found the NDIS was important to them and can change their lives for the better. They said it was very hard to talk to the NDIS. They found it hard to tell their story about how disability makes their life difficult. This strongly suggests that the current structure of the NDIS is not effective in seeing them and their life clearly and can make mistakes when seeking to  help them with supports. It has been reported that many people living with Autism havefound the way they must talk to government traumatic and caused significant distress. This is a common occurrence for those living with Autism, navigating a neurotypical society with neurodivergence can cause a lot of difficulties, which typically developing individuals never have to experience. 

    The IGAP also heard the voices of the NDIS workers, including those whocare for and support  people with disability. Some became troubled that they cannot help as much as they would like. These workers found they had problems  really understanding the stories of how disability affects people s life. Many of the forms and tools used to learn these the stories and gain understanding need to be improved and slow everything down. Likewise, workers must follow the rules about how the NDIS can help, yet some of those rules could be more helpful. If the workers don t understand how disability affects the person s life, and have trouble using the rules, then the help they offer may be misguided and unhelpful. They stated that they know that much the work they do has complaints about……??… They reported that it is often very difficult to get the job done in under the four hours available for them to complete a NDIS plan. There is a huge amount of pressure as that plan needs to support a persons living with a disability for at minimum a whole year.

    The IGAP is now hearing the voices of doctors. The doctor s say they would like to tell the story of how disability affects their patient s life. They find the way they must talk to the NDIS hard, just like people living with disability find it hard. They have a difficult task because the NDIS needs them to tell their story t using their medical skills. This means they need better access to tools and methods to give the NDIS what they need from them, the first time they provide information. There are ideas how to make the medical information needed simpler, to the point, more affordable and trusted by the NDIS planners. One of the biggest challenge for Autism diagnoses is that the information to tell this story needs to come from many professionals.

    The IGAP is now hearing the voices of Allied Health professionals like Occupational Therapists, who the Autistic community know so well. They would also like to tell the story of how disability affects their patient s life. They are actually very good at understanding how a person with disability functions with and without support. Doctors tell a medical story and Allied Health show how that medical story affects a person s life. They say it is hard to tell that story to the NDIS and have similar problems like the Doctors. Some think that the story would be better told if they could tell it together with everyone. These allied health also commented that they feel frustrated when NDIS supports, which are needed and have been discovered through lengthy assessment processes, are rejected by the NDIS. This often means more work for the people working with the Autistic community as they need to continue communicating with the NDIS until patient's get what they need. The cost of this process is mostly seen in patient’s showing worse symptoms then leading to poor outcomes, in the money the NDIS needs to provide to pay for the time of the allied health workforce, and overloading a workforce that is already past capacity. All of these issues contribute to poor outcomes for people living with disability.  

    The NDIS needs to keep up with the needs of people with disability in a modern and developing society.

    Mostly, the news about the NDIS is good andthe government is listening to people living with  life long disabilies like Autism. In October 2022, the NDIS review started and will go for a year, ending in ????. Change is needed and just like in our personal  lives, we must face change and build  resilie.ce The NDIS is evolving into a stronger and more understanding organisation. 

    The NDIS is a social scheme that needs to hear each person s story and support them. It is not about a client number and what can be given. Such a complicated scheme will take time to review. It requires the efforts of many people, including organisations like AV, who believe in people with disability. They want people with disability to have a fair go and a good life. This story about the IGAP continues because it includes AV s members stories and their relationship with the people of Australia through supports from the NDIS.

    By Denton as an opinion piece for AV Members


  • 21 Jun 2022 9:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Autism@Parliament week: this week Parliament is celebrating FIVE years since we held the Inquiry into Autism Services which started a new collaborative approach across our community organisations towards some key goals towards change.

    At AV our key drivers are delivering community peer-designed & delivered programs & support to:

    - continue to grow autistic social inclusion & belonging using our 32 years of peer group expertise

    - improve autistic employment to change the >40% unemployment pathways: with peer job coaching & supported work experience with employer educational support

    Please donate to support change for our niche autistics here:

  • 13 May 2022 7:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We need you to put your hand up to help support our community events. This role is great experience for your CV or as a way to contribute to a better world for our autistics. Our Volunteers receive a bundle of benefits as well as that essential feel-good factor from supporting for-purpose charity activities. For more details please email

  • 13 May 2022 7:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Career Coaching Role: we need a part-time Coach to dedicate the ongoing growth and expanding impacts of our Neurodivergent Career Coaching Program. Someone with autistic lived experience preferred. Please email

  • 13 May 2022 7:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are updating our existing Child Safety approaches each month and our team are working towards the wonderful new National Guidelines coming out this July. Our commitment is that: Keeping children safe & respecting diversity is everyone's responsibility. 

    We welcome your feedback in whatever way you wish to provide it including from our teens and under 18s in how we support their safety, inclusion and wellbeing. This includes our neurodivergent participant's  needs, as well as the needs of our various gender identities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. 

    So you know AV is committed to child safety, wellbeing, participation and empowermentin all we do. This extends to cultural respect and acceptance of diverse needs including autistic, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and LGBTQIA.  

    • AV has zero tolerance for child abuse;.
    • AV supports and respects the right of all children to feel valued and to be safe;.
    • AV seeks to promote, respect and protect the rights of all children attending our activities and prevent abuse from occurring by fostering a child safe culture;.
    • AV has systems and measures in place to try and ensure the respect, wellbeing and safety of children; and.
    • AV is committed to promoting and protecting the safety and wellbeing of all children using our services and to fair, effective and efficient safety processes 
    • AV welcomes ALL feedback about our approaches including from children: please email Jenni,or call or speak to one of our team or please  message us on our social media . 
    Please let us know if you can assist us with ensuring we can meet our vision for child safety and wellbeing in our community. 
  • 10 Feb 2022 8:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From our Department of Education team:

    Dear parents and carers

    • The return to school and face-to-face learning for 2022 has been a fantastic milestone for children, families, and schools across Victoria.

      The Department of Education and Training has worked closely with the Department of Health to ensure schools are as safe as possible, providing air purifiers for improved classroom ventilation and supporting vital COVIDSafe steps, including regular rapid antigen testing, mask wearing and physical distancing.

      Aspergers Victoria is joining the call to encourage as many families as possible to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11.

      Even though COVID-19 is mild in most children, vaccination is important to prevent longer term complications and serious illness that can still occur for some children. 

      Helping your child get vaccinated is an important step we can all take to give children direct protection against COVID-19 and even more so for children with underlying health conditions.

      Bookings for children aged 5 to 11 to receive their Pfizer vaccine are now open and, as of 9 February, just over 50 per cent of 5- to 11-year-olds have been vaccinated.

      This is a great start, and we want to see as many of our primary school students as possible achieve the protection that vaccination offers.

      Along with improved individual protection, high rates of vaccination mean there is less chance of school closures – meaning less disruption to face-to-face learning and more time for children to be with their friends. This is particularly important as we move into Autumn and the Winter months.

      How it works

      Vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11 are delivered at two appointments, usually 8 weeks apart. For children with disability and pre-existing underlying health conditions, they may be able to get their second dose after 3 weeks so that these children can be fully protected sooner.

      The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has advised that this includes children with:

    • ·       Down syndrome
    • ·       Cerebral palsy
    • ·       Muscular Dystrophy
    • ·       Severe disability that requires frequent assistance with daily living, which includes some autistic children and children with rare genetic disorders
    • ·       Heart disease and chronic lung disease, including those regularly hospitalised for asthma
    • ·       Cancer and survivors of childhood cancer

    Parents and carers can determine if their child is medically at risk and book a second dose if their child requires full protection sooner.  

    For further information please review the full list of disability and medical conditions

    Children aged 5 years and over who are severely immunocompromised can also receive three primary doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. This third dose can be provided 2 to 6 months after the second dose.

    To book an appointment

    You can book an appointment now for your children at a doctor’s clinic or any pharmacy on the Australian Government’s Clinic Finder website, visit

    You can also book at a family-friendly vaccination centre by calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 or by booking online:

    Appointments are also available at Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisations. 

    Support for students with disability or special requirements 

    There is extra support for students with disability and specialist requirements to access COVID-19 vaccinations. 

    The Victorian Government is supporting people with disability to access COVID-19 vaccinations through the Disability Liaison Officers (DLO).  The Disability Liaison Officers provide free specialised support to children and adults across Victoria with a disability or special requirements, as well as their families and carers.  

    They can help you with:

    ·       Longer appointments

    ·       Strategies for needle phobia

    ·       Bookings at low sensory and disability accessible centres

    ·       Vaccination at home

    You can contact a Disability Liaison Officer by:

    The Victorian Government’s website also has  information about COVID-19 vaccines in many community languages

  • 17 Aug 2021 2:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Monday 15 November at 7.30pm via Zoom.  Please mark this in your calendars now.  More details (including registration links) will be shared closer to the day.

  • 3 Aug 2021 4:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Aspergers Victoria has once again been invited to apply for invitations on behalf of our members to the very popular Melbourne Special Children's Christmas Party. This years event is planned to be held on Saturday 4 December 2021 from 10.30am - 1pm at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

    Pending government COVID-19 regulations, a three hour stage show is planned to entertain the children and parents. There will be activities such as merry go-rounds, jumping castles, face painting, food, drinks, and ice creams. Of course, no Christmas party is complete without Santa and presents!

    To be eligible to request an invitation you need:

    • a current membership with Aspergers Victoria

    • your child must be 12 years or under and have an Aspergers/autism diagnosis.

    For more information and to register your interest please complete the Expression of Interest form  before Friday 20 August.

  • 3 Aug 2021 3:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AV is closely following the Victorian government COVID-19 requirements. We have developed and are regularly updating our COVID-Safe Plan to help keep our staff, volunteers and members safe and minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19.  These guidelines apply to all of our in-person gatherings, including group meetings, workshops, interest groups, and AV speaker events.

    AV’s COVIDSafe plan includes information about:

    • what you can expect at an AV COVIDSafe gathering

    • what you need to bring with you to a gathering

    • registering for in person gatherings

    • refreshments at AV gatherings
    • checking in at venues with the venue's QR code 

    We encourage you to read our AV COVIDSafe Plan - July 2021 before you attend in-person events at AV in 2021.

    Please note that Victorian government advice may change at short notice. 

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   Next >  Last >> 

Opinions expressed by contributors to this Blog page are their own

ABN 47 066 180 983

© 2019 Aspergers Victoria   |   Site by

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software