Saturday, February 07, 2009

Autism in Australia: Aaron Naumann, An Australian With Autism, Speaks Out

The following are the words of Aaron Naumann, an Australian man with Autism, reprinted here with Aaron's permission:

Autism Spectrum Disorder needs to be recognized the same as any other mental disorder, so those affected can receive the help and support they require.

I am 20 years old and have Autism. At the moment, I have to pay more than AU$150 for medication which only lasts me 2 months.. The Australian Government doesn't accept Autism as a mental disorder, worthy of Government assistance. Before I turned legal age (18), the government payed for almost 90% of my medication. As soon as I turned 18, the government said... "No more help for you...".

I work full time, so I can afford it... But its the principle... Unless you are a child, or are legally insane, the government doesn't want to know and doesn't want to care about Autistic people.

The Governments need to recognize Autism and provide all with this "gift", all the assistance they require.

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1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I have the same problem here in South Carolina. Once you reach a certain age, 18 or 21, depending on the situation, according to the government you no longer exist. Currently, there is a waiting list of over a year to even get evaluated to receive help with ASDs and even longer to actually get treatment.

Mental Health Centers refuse to treat people with autism even though it is a mental disorder and for those who have HFA/AS it is similar to schizophrenia minus the psychosis. But those with HFA/AS have no where to go because they aren't severe enough for treatment from autism services and the MHCs won't treat them.

So instead they wait, instead of using available competent social workers and psychiatrists at the local MHC that takes a couple of weeks to make an appointment. Getting SSI is incredibly difficult and for those few that manage to receive it they then can attend Voc Rehab to help them obtain a job, although it is not the same as proper treatment.

I have both bipolar and autism but the MHC will only treat the bipolar and they pretend that the autism doesn't exist. Now I'm trying to find somewhere else and am looking into Voc Rehab because I'm one of the lucky few to receive SSI.