The letter below was sent to ‘The Project’, a news show on Channel Ten in response to their recent story on Autism Diagnoses aired on the 27th of April 2016. The story was based on the article that can be found here.
Hello,Thank you for broadcasting your story on Autism Spectrum Disorder tonight. I am glad that as I grow up, the condition is becoming more known and less strange.I was informally diagnosed with ASD when I was 16 and was referred to a psychiatrist and an occupational therapist. I would like to bring my input to the story about early intervention and also providing help to those who weren’t given the option of early intervention.Both of my parents have uni degrees in teaching and both work, we do not rely on benefits from the government and I am proud of that although it is at this time that I would like the government’s help the most.I have a lot of academic potential and have been in selective classes in years 7 through to 10. I can keep a conversation, I can be social able and can complete daily tasks without help. But on the inside, I am a teenage girl full of sensory and intellectual disabilities needing to be dealt with. I was not given the option of early intervention.My aim is to complete my HSC this year with a relatively high ATAR and go to university and study Entertainment Business Management which uses my ‘differences’ such as being highly organised, high attention to detail, alertness, overthinking, love of the logistics of backstage theatre and my need to always learn more, in a good way!At the moment I am organising my school yearbook, running a radio show, running my own blog at sabsspace.wordpress.com and studying for the HSC!My parents were able to pay for 2 occupational therapy appointments, 2 paediatrician appointment and 10 psychologist appointments this year with the help of Medicare. I need to see a dermatologist, psychiatrist and get an official diagnosis of many intellectual disabilities but these are at the moment out of our financial reach because Medicare doesn’t fund autism diagnoses for children my age even though I am not even 18 years old yet because it’s not classified as ‘early intervention’ which they fund many organisations to provide. I believe that I deserve financial help at the moment from the government because I have a lot of potential to influence this country and I contribute often in my community.In conclusion, even though early intervention can be good for some, others who aren’t given that option should also deserve the funding of intervention by the government too.Thank you.