“Don’t just give me bad news all the time. Give me some good news. Tell me some good things my child did today. Please”
Sarah caught up with Dr Beth Johnson, a postdoctoral researcher at Monash University, leading an ambitious research programme to transform how we understand and diagnose autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Autism, which affects around 100,000 children in Australia, significantly impacts a child’s ability to play, communicate and relate to their peers. Critically, most kids with ASD have movement problems which hampers their ability to draw, write and dance. We know that early intervention is key to helping kids on the autism spectrum, yet families wait in limbo for 3 years on average to receive a diagnosis for their child. This is too long.
This exciting project is studying 1000 families - mother, father, child and siblings – from across Melbourne and Victoria to look at how risk genes and behaviours are passed from parents to children, and how autism overlaps with other disorders, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Sarah spoke to Dr Beth in this interview (Part One) to find out more about ASD and ADHD and how it affects children, families and communities.
Take a listen...