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Autism Victoria trading as Amaze. Visit our website.

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eSpectrum No. 66 February

 What's in this edition

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 Have your say about school

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The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is conducting some research into students with a disability in schools. The research aims to gather information about the issues and challenges experienced by students with disability in the Victorian school system and to identify potential solutions. The Commission is holding a number of "Have your Say" forums in metro and regional areas, and you are encouraged to get involved.

For information about the forum to be held in Carlton, please click here.

For regional times and venues, please click here.

If you are unable to make the meeting, you can still participate by completing the survey online or phoning 1300 292 153.

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 World Autism Awareness Day 2012 - spread the word!

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Planning is well underway for this year's celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, to be marked on Sunday 1 April. This year we will be taking to the streets in the heart of the city for a 1.2km walk along the Yarra with thousands of multicoloured balloons representing the individuality of each person on the autism spectrum. We will be walking to Birrarung Marr for the release, then continuing on for entertainment at Federation Square which will again Light it Up Blue for ASD awareness.
For more information, visit our website or download the flyer to distribute to your family, friends, workplaces, libraries, schools and anyone else around your neighbourhood to raise awareness of ASDs in the wider community.

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 Changes to Medicare rebates

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There have been further changes to the Better Access to Mental Health Care item, which provides a Medicare rebate for services with a psychologist (or sometimes an OT or social worker) for individuals with mental health conditions.

From November last year, sessions were capped at 10 (down from 18). Following protest and pressure from a number of individuals and professional bodies, the government has reinstated the additional six services under ‘exceptional circumstances’ for a transitional period from 1 March to 31 December. It should be noted that the standard number of sessions remains at 10, but some individuals with particularly high needs may be eligible for an additional six if their referring doctor feels it appropriate.

Click here for the statement from the Minister
Click here for our updated form of Medicare benefits for individuals with ASD

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 Brickvention a success!

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Brickvention, Melbourne's LEGO® convention, took place on the weekend of the 21 & 22 January at the Melbourne Town Hall, attracting over 10,000 Lego enthusiasts from around the country to view original and unusual creations built by Australian modelers and collectors.
Rob Deakin from the Melbourne LEGO Users Group (MUG) and ASD Aid organised a fundraiser in conjunction with the exhibition, as well as a special viewing specifically for children on the spectrum which gave them an opportunity to get up close to the LEGO creations without the crowds.
Matthew Clarkson, on behalf of the ASD Aid Board, said, "approximately 50 families attended on the Friday when the Town Hall was quiet, and thus a more comfortable atmosphere for children on the spectrum. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and appreciated viewing the creations in a less confronting environment". See more

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 The Other Film Festival - entries open!

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Are you a budding filmmaker?

Entries are now open for The Other Film Festival, Australia’s only disability film festival to be held over five days in Melbourne in September. Since 2004, this biennial festival has screened an international program of outstanding contemporary cinema about the experience of disability.

All films must be by, with or about people with a disability or who are Deaf. For more information, click here.

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 New Events Calendar process - advertise your event now!

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We are pleased to launch our brand new system for lodging your event on our Online Events Calendar which makes it easier than ever to submit your ASD-related event to us for inclusion.

Simply fill out the online event submission form, and once approved, it will be uploaded to our calendar within three days. If your event is free, we will place it free of charge. If yours is a paid event, you can pay the $100 advertising fee by secure transfer once your event is accepted.
The Events Calendar is a great way to publicise your event to a highly targeted community of people interested in ASDs. We link to your event in our eSpectrum, which goes out to over 8000 subscribers. If you have an event coming up that you would like to promote, why not submit it now?

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 Upcoming Events

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11 Feb: FREE ABA Information Session
14: Feb: Building Sensory Bridges and Motivating the Person with ASD to Communicate
14 Feb: Have Your Say About School!
15 Feb: Building Sensory Bridges and Motivating the Person with ASD to Communicate
16 Feb: ASD Seminar: Task Analysis
16 Feb: Building Sensory Bridges and Motivating the Person with ASD to Communicate
18 Feb: FREE Parent Presentation – “Carer Solutions Australia”
21 Feb: Free Information Night
22 Feb: Behaviour Management Workshop
22 Feb: Have Your Say About School – Bendigo Forum
23 Feb: Information Session – ASD & School-Based Strategies
25 Feb: ASD Seminar: Managing Behaviour
27 Feb: Have Your Say About School – Traralgon Forum
29 Feb: Have Your Say About School – Ballarat Forum

1 Mar: Have Your Say About School – Shepparton Forum 
2 Mar: Making it work with an ASD child in your classroom
3 Mar: A Special Day: Find out more about therapy programs for children with Autism
4 Mar: Parent Workshop: Siblings of Children with a Disability
8 Mar: ASD Seminar: Choosing Curriculum
13 Mar: Become an ABA Therapist – Level 1
14 Mar: Human Rights in Disability Services Forum - Benalla
16 Mar: Have Your Say About School – Geelong Forum
17 Mar: FREE ABA Swap Meet
19 Mar: Human Rights in Disability Services Forum - Moorabbin
21 Mar: ASD Seminar: Generalisation
21 Mar: Human Rights in Disability Services Forum - Colac
24 Mar: FREE ABA Information Session
27 Mar: ASD Seminar: Toileting
28 Mar: Human Rights in Disability Services Forum - Ballarat

1 Apr: World Autism Awareness Day Celebrations
28 Apr: Inaugural ABA Forum – ABA Today: Effective, Evidenced and Evolved
18 Apr: Human Rights in Disability Services Forum - Traralgon

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