Apps for Autism Hackathon: 14 - 16th November

Specialisterne and the Autism CRC are looking for people on the autism spectrum who have IT skills, live in Melbourne and want to participate in the Apps for Autism Hackathon. 

For those on the spectrum with limited experience in working in teams, Specialisterne Australia is offering a special one day workshop in preparation for the Hackathon. The workshop will consist of an introduction to scrum methodology, working in teams, and build a project together using Lego Robotics.  

If you would like to join a project team at Apps for Autism please email, and write in 100-400 words why you would like to join the event and outline your tech skills.  You can email your CV (resume) if you have one, otherwise outline your tech skills. You will get a responce with the next steps once your email has been received. 

The Hackathon event is being held at ANZ building in Melbourne, located at 100 Queen Street. 

Monday 14 to Wednesday 16 November, 2016.
Monday 6.00pm to 9.00pm
Tuesday 8.30am to 5.00pm
Wednesday 8.30am to 4.00pm

More information via the link :


"When I Grow Up" - Competition for Under 12's

As part of the Autism Health & Well Being Expo on the 31st July at the Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre, a competition is being run worldwide for children with autism under 12 years of age. Entries can be submitted using the template from the website, or by building a Lego figure and sending us a pic of this drawing done on the computer or any other format! An AMAZON voucher worth AUD$150 is up for grabs. Click here for all the details 



Media Release - An Evening with Prof Tony Attwood


MONDAY 11 July, 2016

Aspergers Victoria proudly presents:

An Evening With International Autism Expert Prof Tony Attwood

INTERNATIONAL autism expert Professor Tony Attwood will share the latest research and strategies for managing emotions and employment challenges at an Aspergers Victoria fundraising event in Preston this month 

The presentations will cover employment and relationships for people with Aspergers, and strategies to manage anxiety, sadness and anger for children and adults.

Prof. Tony Attwood said Australian and overseas research had confirmed high levels of unemployment and under-employment, despite the abilities and qualifications of people with Aspergers.

 “The main challenges in the workplace are in terms of social aspects and coping with change. I think there are many recommendations for an employer and I hope to weave these into the presentation,” Prof. Attwood said. “Clearly employers could miss out on somebody renowned for their knowledge, honesty, integrity and work ethic.”

In his employment talk, Prof. Attwood will focus on the issues faced by adults of all ages with Aspergers in finding and keeping employment appropriate to their abilities, as well as developing friendships and other workplace relationships.

His second presentation will explain why children and adults with Aspergers are more prone to develop mood disorders and the current therapies and strategies available to help manage feelings of sadness, anxiety and anger. Prof. Attwood will also discuss a new program he has developed with the Brisbane Minds and Hearts clinic to treat depression in adults with Aspergers.

Aspergers Victoria’s Evening With Professor Tony Attwood will be held at The Mantra Bell City Ballroom, 215 Bell St, Preston on 28 July from 6:30-9pm. Tickets are $60 each for Asperger Victoria members and $90 for non-members. Book at:

Funds raised through this major event will help Aspergers Victoria continue to run a range of peer support and social groups for adults, young people, teenagers, girls and boys with Aspergers, as well as peer groups for parents, carers, siblings and partners.

Prof. Attwood is a clinical psychologist specialising in Aspergers and autism spectrum conditions for more than 40 years. In addition to his own private practice, Prof. Attwood is adjunct professor at QLD’s Griffith University and senior consultant at the Mind and Hearts clinic, Brisbane.

 Aspergers Syndrome is a neurological difference in the hard wiring of the brain and is considered to be part of the autism spectrum. It can influence the way some people make sense of the world, process information, relate to other people and cope with various situations. As a result, without the right supports children and adults with Aspergers may have high levels of anxiety, sadness or anger, as well as unemployment, About 1 in 250 children is diagnosed with Aspergers and it is estimated that about the same number again are undiagnosed, especially in girls.

Aspergers Victoria is a registered mental health promotion charity, run by volunteers, that provides information and support to people living with Aspergers.. For further information please visit


Event details: Aspergers Victoria’s Evening with Professor Tony Attwood

Date: Thursday, 28 July, 2016

Time: 6:30-9pm (doors open at 6pm – supper provided after 9pm)

Venue: The Mantra Bell City, 215 Bell St, Preston – The Ballroom

Cost: Members $60, non-members $90





Tanya Hollis mobile: 0401 628 599


Helping parents become NDIS Ready

Australia’s leading parenting website - Raising Children Network - and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) have partnered to produce free online videos and articles to help parents become NDIS Ready. 

NDIA General Manager Media, Communications and Engagement, Maryanne Diamond, said the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) would provide Australian children who had developmental delay or disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they needed to live an ordinary life.

“These new online resources will help parents understand how the NDIS can support their child, be it through early intervention, personal care and support, access to the community, therapy services or essential equipment,” Ms Diamond said.

“The NDIS is a big change, but there’s things parents can do in the lead up to get NDIS Ready, such as find out when the NDIS will be available in their area and think about their child’s goals.”

The free resources cover many common queries including: what is the NDIS, how parents can access it, how to go about choosing services, early intervention and transitioning from Better Start and Helping Children With Autism to the NDIS.

Several videos feature real-life stories from parents of children with disability who are already receiving support from the NDIS.

Associate Professor Julie Green, Executive Director Raising Children Network, said the new videos and articles provided parents with valuable support.

“The NDIS provides new choices for parents, along with questions about what support is available for their child and how best to access it,” Associate Professor Green said.

“Our partnership means provides practical information for parents seeking to understand what the NDIS means for supporting their child’s individual needs.“

The NDIS national rollout begins on 1 July 2016. The Scheme will grow to support 140,000 Australian children aged 0 to 14 with disability. The NDIS is being introduced in stages over the next three years to ensure it is successful and sustainable. 

The Raising Children Network website is visited by over 40,000 Australians each day and contains more than 2,200 resources on parenting from pregnancy to teens.

The new NDIS resources are freely available at


Recent news articles


Code Club

Code Club Australia is a nationwide network of free, volunteer-led, after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11.

We create projects for our volunteers to teach at after school coding clubs. The projects we make teach children how to program by showing them how to make computer games, animations and websites. Volunteers go to their local junior school or other venue, such as a library, for an hour a week and teach one project a week.

Code Club is about fun, creativity, and learning through exploring. It’s important that the children enjoy their time at Code Club. They should understand that they’re in charge of the computer, and can (and should) make it do what they want, not the other way around.

Other benefits of Code Club, such as learning about computational thinking, or developing expertise in coding, are secondary to these two objectives. Having said that, children will absorb all these wonderful skills as they work through the projects, rather than through didactic teaching.

We’d like to put a Code Club in every single primary school in the country. There are over 8,000 primary schools in Australia; it’s a big task, but we think we can do it!


The Cooking Crew (run by EACH)

The Cooking Crew will be up and running again as of next Wednesday 20th January. We will be meeting fortnightly for cooking only. Next week we are cooking red velvet beetroot cupcakes and focaccias. MMMMMMmmmmm.

The Crew is a group of young people who may be disengaged from school and community, are feeling isolated or are just looking for something to do. We meet fortnightly for cooking and just to catch up. If you like cooking and eating then this is the group for you! If not, you can just come and hang out. You don’t have to come to each session, just the days you feel like it.

It’s all free!! Don’t miss out!! 


Brain Training with Arrowsmith Program

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young has developed a brain training program based on neuroplasticity principles. 

From her website:

"The Arrowsmith Program is a cognitive program that harnesses the principles of neuroplasticity through the application of targeted cognitive exercises to overcome specific learning difficulties.

The Arrowsmith Program is based on the philosophy that it is possible to treat learning disabilities by identifying and strengthening cognitive capacities.

The Arrowsmith Program is a program of intensive and graduated cognitive exercises that are designed to strengthen the underlying weak cognitive capacities that are the source of the learning disabilities. Each student's program is based on a careful assessment to identify the specific learning difficulties.

Anyone who has taken up an activity that involves developing a skill, whether it is playing a musical instrument or learning a sport like tennis or golf, knows the importance of drills and of doing them properly. The same principle applies to the cognitive exercises that make up the Arrowsmith Program."

There are a few Melbourne primary school piloting the program. Further details, and links to media articles can be found here


Supporting Job Seekers with Aspergers and Autism

JobAccess is a free information and advice service about the employment of people with disability, funded by the Australian Government. JobAccess helps people with disability, employers, service providers and the community to access information about services, financial assistance and workplace solutions. You can find useful information about reasonable adjustments, disclosure of disability, disability employment case studies, tools and checklists.

They have recently produced some fact sheets to assist people with Aspergers and Autism in the workplace:

Workplace Adjustments for People with Aspergers

How to Support Job Seekers with Autism

You can find more general information and case studies on the JobAccess website


Aspergers Vic on TV

Nat Chat is a locally produced chat show, on which host Mirella Rich has conducted a series of interviews with Aspergers Victoria representatives and people with Aspergers over the last few months.

These interviews are screening on Channel 31 on Thursdays at 2pm, and can also be accessed via the Nat Chat YouTube Channel 

Series 6 Episode 3 is with former President Lyndel Kennedy

Series 6 Episode 4 is with current President Tamsin Jowett

Series 6 Episodes 5 & 6 are with our friend Chris Varney, founder of the I Can Network

Later episodes will feature another friend of ours, Jeremy Samson, founder of Time 2 Train

We hope you enjoy learning more about the great work of Aspergers Victoria, and our wonderful friends and volunteers.


SPLAT Speech Pathology's Social Interaction Skills Programs for Term Four

SPLAT Speech Pathology services will be operating the following structured "Social Thinking" programs from the clinic office at 146 Springfield Rd, Blackburn North in Term Four 2015 - commencing Saturday 17th October (8 week programs).

1.  " We can make it better "   (Prep-Gde 2  @ 9.15am - 10.15am)   $90 per hour session x 8  =  $720 Term fee

Through the adventures of Bob and Maria, students are provided with the opportunity to learn and develop social thinking and related social skills in an enjoyable and engaging format.  Using the "We can make it better" stories, students develop a connection to the characters and are eager to learn about the new adventures each session, thus providing a strong foundation for teaching and developing a variety of ways to approach different situations. 

By reflecting on what the characters are "doing, thinking and feeling" throughout each story, the students have multiple opportunities to process and analyse verbal and nonverbal behaviours - a process that students then apply to problem solve their own social experiences.  

2.  "MOVIE TIME"  (Gde 3-6  @10.30am - 11.30am )   $75 per hour session x 8  =  $600 Termly fee

Movie time social learning helps to link the components of social thinking in a structured but dynamic learning process, supporting children in identifying contextual and fundamental "thinking with your eyes" information, expanding emotional vocabulary, understanding and tracking multiple perspectives, interpreting tone / facial/ nonverbal and gestural information, discussing expected and unexpected behaviours and consequences and experiencing empathy with characters.

SPLAT Speech Pathology also offers individual therapy to meet the specific needs of your child. Please contact Meg if you have any questions or wish to discuss any of the programs further.


Meg Dicker (Ba.Sp.Path)

Speech Pathologist  CPSP  M.S.P.A.   M.A.V.   M.R.C.S.L.T.

P.O. Box 330,Kerrimuir 3129

Ph: 0424 272 650

Specialising in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Inclusive Education


New Social Group starting 10th October 2015

Frossa Mrakas has asked us to let you know about a new social group she's starting:

"Rev heads incorporated

• Do you love cars?

• Are you between 18 – 26 years old?

• Would you like to share your passion with other like-minded car enthusiasts?

• Come and share your interest in all things cars and chat about your favourite motor vehicles

We are starting up a special interest social group that has cars as its central theme. These get togethers will provide you with the opportunity to share your interest and meet others who feel the same about cars. Come and participate in active discussion about the best car and have fun at the same time. You don’t have to be an expert, just someone who has a passion for cars.

Time: 2 – 3:30pm

Day: Saturday (starting 10th October 2015)

Cost: $5 (to cover room hire and refreshments)

Venue: 20 Banksia Street Burwood (Outside the Square psychology)

If you are interested or would like to know more please feel free to contact Frossa on 0418 174 545  "


Review of Program for Students with Disabilities - Survey now open

Aspergers Victoria has been asked to encourage our members to complete the the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) Review survey. Completing the survey will help inform how the Victorian Government can better meet the needs and maximise the learning of all children and young people with disabilities. The survey is now open. You can access the survey here.

The survey takes 10-20 minutes to complete. It will be open until 16 October. This is a great opportunity for the Government to hear from the voices of people with Aspergers, the better for all our children, and the better our educators will be trained in best practices to benefit all

NDIS Rollout for Victoria confirmed, over 100,000 Victorians to benefit

Last Wednesday one of PM Malcolm Turnball's first acts was to sign the NDIS Agreement with Victoria and NSW, which will lead to a doubling of funding for disability support at full rollout.

From the Victorian Government, Wednesday 16th September:

The Andrews Labor Government today signed an historic bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth outlining the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Victoria over the next three years.

Premier Daniel Andrews was in Canberra to sign the landmark agreement with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and New South Wales Premier Mike Baird.

The Labor Government will contribute funding of $2.5 billion per year, with the Commonwealth contributing $2.6 billion, once the scheme is fully implemented – more than doubling the current funding for disability support.

Minister for Housing, Disability & Ageing Martin Foley joined disability advocates and stakeholders at the MCG to celebrate the achievement.

The bilateral agreement will benefit an estimated 105,000 Victorians – more than the number expected to fill the stadium at next month’s AFL Grand Final.

Following the successful Barwon pilot, the NDIS will be rolled out gradually across Victoria over the next three years starting July 1, 2016 in North East Melbourne, including Banyule, Darebin, Nillumbik, Whittlesea and Yarra.

The Central Highlands region will be next in January 2017 and the Greater Bendigo area in May 2017, with the rest of the state to follow. Victorian children under the age of six will receive priority help, in recognition of the developmental needs of young children.

The scheme will provide personalised care and support for people with a disability across the whole of Victoria by 1 July, 2019. Once fully rolled out, the NDIS will be the end of rationed services and waitlists for people with disability and their families.

Following today’s crucial first step, the Government will continue to work closely with people with disabilities, their families, the disabilities sector and other stakeholders involved in the roll out of this significant reform."

Source Premier of Victoria

For more detailed information, see Department Human Services Victoria

For rollout schedule by Local Government Area click here


PM announces newcomer as Social Services Minister

From ProBono Australia:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has appointed a lesser known former WA State MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the PM, Christian Porter, as the new Minister for Social Services.

Prior to winning the Federal seat of Pearce in WA at the 2013 election, Christian Porter served as a Minister in the State Government, variously holding portfolios of Attorney General, Minister for Corrective Services and Treasurer of Western Australia.

“He is a formidable lawyer with strong public finance experience.He has a strong record of managing large budgets and making service delivery much more efficient,” Turnbull said in announcing the new Ministry.

- Click here to read the full article

Unfortunately the Liberal Government still hasn't created a Minister for Disability, which Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said, 'given the progress of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the sector deserved its own ministry.'


Youth point is now live

Aspergers Victoria are excited to tell you about the Youth Point employment program. Youth Point is a free early intervention employment initiative developed by the IMVC and is now live. It aims to support young people to access real jobs – and improve their opportunity to build relationships and linkages with employers.

Please note, Youth Point currently covers the Local Government Areas of Boroondara, Manningham, Melbourne, Monash, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse and Yarra.

Youth Point will provide 15-25 year olds with direct access to casual, part-time, full-time, traineeship, apprenticeship, volunteering and work experience opportunities.

Visit the Youth Point website for more information.


YouthSpark IT Career Pathways

Aspergers Victoria are pleased to let you know that applications for the YouthSpark IT careers program are open.

YouthSpark program supports young people, who face significant barriers to employment, to develop a career in IT.

Targeted at 18 to 26 year olds, the program involves pre-employment training, including a Certificate II in Information Technology, after which trainees apply for a six to 12 month traineeship with a leading Microsoft business partner in Melbourne. This is all done in a supportive environment that caters to young people facing barriers.

Classes start 5 October in Melbourne. Register your interest now or find out more on the YouthSpark webpage or by calling Emma Fawcett on 03 9418 7454.


Career exploration for young people on the spectrum

Aspergers Victoria are please to share with you information about a new program which has been developed to engage young people with ASD or learning dificulties in a career exploration program that focuses on their unique talents.  The program by Fingerprint Me, Australia’s First Youth Employment Academy, is run under the guidance of a Mental Health Practitioner and Careers Counsellor. 

The Insight Program has all the features of their core program (Scope) but with the needs of a young person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or learning difficulties in mind. Fingerprint Me see unique talents in all our students, and those on the autism spectrum or with learning challenges are no different. In fact, ‘neurodiversity’ can make a young person even better at certain jobs, so taking the time to discover these talents can make them succeed in their chosen industry.

FingerprintMe are hosting the following information sessions. Please feel free to register your interest by emailing Christine Kotsios at indicating which session you would like to attend:

Session 1:      Wednesday 9th September, 6pm – 7pm
                     Fingerprint Me Youth Employment Academy
                     50 Whitehorse Road Balwyn, Victoria

Session 2:      Thursday 17th September, 5pm – 6pm
                     OstaraAustraliaGeelong. 5/72 Gheringhap Street Geelong

Session 3:      If you are unable to attend Sessions 1 or 2, please register your interest to participate in a Webinar.

You can also visit their website for more information about the Fingerprintme Academy. 


Siblings Group 14th August cancelled

Unfortunately we've had to cancel tonight's meeting of the siblings support group 7:30pm Friday 14th August.

The Nerve Centre will not be open tonight.

Apologies if you are inconvenienced by this.  

The next siblings group will be on Friday 11th September 2015 from 7:30 - 9pm.

Please click here to email Helen, our Siblings Support group leader if you'd like more information.


Young Carers Encouraged to Apply for Study Support Funding

Aspergers Victoria is pleased to encourage young carers to apply for the 2016 Young Carer Bursary Programme which will open from 18 August 2015. 

The 2016 Young Carer Bursary Programme will deliver 333 bursaries worth $3,000 each to assist young carers up to 25 years old to continue studying and to relieve the financial pressure on them to work in addition to their caring.

The Bursaries programme has had overwhelmingly positive feedback from young carers and was developed in consultation with Carers Australia.

Online application forms for the 2016 busaries will be availabe on the Carer's Australia 'Young Carer's website at