Sunday 2 April 2023 is World Autism Day, a valuable opportunity to raise awareness about autism and how educators can improve the learning outcomes of Australian students on the spectrum. In Australia alone, one in every 70 people is living with autism – that’s over half a million Australians who face unique challenges when it comes to accessing education.
The prevalence of Autism in Australia
There is no recent credible estimate of the prevalence of autism in Australian children. However, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2018 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, an estimated 3.1% of children aged 5-9, and a further 3.3% of children aged 10 to 14 have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This number is likely to have increased in recent years due to increased awareness and improved diagnosis.
“There are a number of barriers to learning for students on the spectrum which can impact their educational outcomes. These include social and communication difficulties, sensory processing issues and repetitive behaviours. Many students also have associated mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression,” said Ms Marie Kinsella, CEO, International Exhibition & Conference Group – the organisers of the National Education Summit.
The Australian government has committed to improving the education outcomes of all students, including those with ASD. A range of initiatives have been put in place to support this goal, including the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the development of an autism-specific Education Plan.
“With the right support, students on the spectrum can overcome these challenges and go on to lead happy and successful lives. World Autism Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of ASD and celebrate the unique strengths and abilities of individuals on the spectrum,” said Ms Kinsella.
The National Education Summit: Embracing Autism inclusivity
To help Australia’s educators and schools better understand autism, and successfully implement more inclusive policies, the National Education Summit is presenting the Diverse Learners Symposium. This two-day Symposium brings together specialists in the field of autism education, at both the Melbourne and Brisbane events, including:
- Reimaging inclusive education presented by Leon Furze, Managing Director of Furze Smith Consulting & Non-Exec Director of Reframing Autism
- Supporting our Diverse Learners with Classroom Adjustments presented by Madeleine Martin, Learning Diversity Leader, St Columba’s College
- Educating for Autism presented by Jaie Skinner, Assistant Principal, St John Paul II
- Improving the learning outcomes of students on the spectrum presented by Katie Fleet, Education Director, Eds. Change
- SPARC Program – Supporting Diverse Learners presented by Jade Wong, SPARC Teacher Waverley Christian College
- Confidentiality and the Need to Know presented by Sharon Vogels, Learning of Learning Diverse Learning, Marist College
- Inclusion without Burnout presented by Debra Quelch, Inclusive Education Specialist, A Different Perspective
- Is it ASD, ADHD or NVLD presented by Fiona Wilson, Our Pixie Friends
- Portraying ADHD, Mental Health, Anxiety & The Spectrums in Children’s & Young Adult Literature presented by Aleesah Darlison Author
“Alongside the dynamic line-up of presenters and sessions on offer during the Diverse Learners Symposium, visitors will also have the opportunity to browse through The Education Show – a free trade expo featuring exhibitors with a focus on educational resources, technologies and support,” concludes Ms Kinsella.
About the National Education Summit 2023
The National Education Summit has continued to be an important key professional development event for Australian educators since it first took place in 2016. The Summit incorporates six individual events, each specialising in key areas of interest within teaching and learning. In addition, the Summit offers guests seminars and a free trade expo – The Education Show – boasting over 100 exhibitors, showcasing the latest educational resources, technologies and products. The Summit is supported by the involvement of key educational organisations involved including The GROK Academy, Australian Education Union, Awards Victoria, Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria (DLTV), School Library Association Victoria (SLAV), Berry Street Educational Model, Queensland School Library Association (QSLA), Eduwebinar, Salutegenics and The Big Sister Experience.
When and where:
- Melbourne: Friday 16 and Saturday 17 June 2023, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
- Brisbane: Friday 4 and Saturday 5 August 2023, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
- For more information, visit: https://nationaleducationsummit.com.au
Marie Kinsella is CEO of the International Exhibition & Conference Group Pty Ltd (IEC Group Pty Ltd), a privately owned Australian company of key personnel with combined exhibition industry experience of over 70 years. IEC Group are the organisers of the National Education Summit taking place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 16 to 17 June 2023 and at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 4 to 5 August 2023.