La Trobe welcomes autism funding pledge

Director of La Trobe University’s Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC), Professor Cheryl Dissanayake, has welcomed today’s Liberal Nationals' election announcement to commit $4 million over four years to re-establish OTARC’s Early Diagnostic Clinic for children and to support the Centre’s ongoing research at La Trobe.

“We at OTARC are delighted by the Liberal Nationals’ announcement today to reopen our Early Diagnostic Clinic for children under the age of 3 years suspected of developing autism,” Professor Dissanayake said.

“This announcement is especially important in light of the Labor government's announcement on September 5th regarding funding to train all maternal and child health nurses in Victoria on the early signs of autism between 12 and 24 months.

“It means that children will have ready access to an early diagnostic service which will serve to lower the age of diagnosis of children with autism, currently at 50 months in Victoria."