Australian millions for research on Autism Spectrum Disorders

CHILD-Professor Torbjörn Falkmer at School of Health Sciences at Jönköping University and at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, is leading a program called Finding a Place in Society, in a large scale national Australian project, partly sponsored by the Australian government.

The Australian government has announced that the Co-operative Research Centres for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders will receive AUS$31 million to enhance the lives of individuals with lifelong development disabilities arising from an autism spectrum disorder.

The Swedish Professor Torbjörn Falkmer at School of Health Sciences at Jönköping University and at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, is leading Program 3: Finding a Place in Society, in this large scale national Australian project.

The Press Release from the Co-operative Research Centres for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia states that:  “The CRC for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders and the outputs from its three core research programs will enhance the lives of more than one million Australians. Outcomes will ensure individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to have a definitive diagnosis at an early age that can be coupled with a targeted early intervention strategy, they will be educated in an appropriate environment by skilled professionals, and they will be given the best chance to find a meaningful and fulfilling place in society through higher education, employment and better opportunities for long term social relationships.”

The Press Release also states that through the establishment of Australia’s (and the world’s) first national, cooperative research effort directed towards ASD, the implementation of a highly innovative “whole-of-life” research portfolio, and the assembly of some of the finest and most respected scientists in their relevant fields, they will address this key national challenge by:

Program 1: Harnessing existing knowledge of ASD behaviour in the first instance to accurately diagnose 50% of children with ASD prior to their second birthday and over 70% by their third birthday and then incorporate breakthroughs in biological research to identify subtypes of ASD and the most efficacious interventions.

Program 2:
Providing appropriate educational environments and programs for students with ASD so that they have the best chance of social, behavioural and academic success, and equipping teachers to manage even the most complex behaviours.

Program 3:
Improving opportunities for people with ASD to successfully participate in higher education, increasing the rate of employment of people with ASD by 5% and providing lifelong physical and mental health management.

The Swedish Dr. Marita Falkmer at Curtin University, is likely to be part of both program 2 and 3. Professor Torbjörn Falkmer and Dr. Marita Falkmer are members of the Swedish research environment CHILD at Jönköping University.

Co-operative Research Centres (CRCs) are national research centres in Australia that bring together researchers, industry, communities and government to produce world-leading research that addresses major challenges in the public and private sectors. The total budget of this eight year project is $104 million dollar.

For more information on CRC for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia
Contact: Professor Robert van Barneveld
Email: rob@barneveld.com.au

For more information on Research Program 3:
Contact: Professor Torbjörn Falkmer
Email: TFalkmer@curtin.edu.au

2013-02-28
2013-02-28





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