Voice for Autism

The Voice for Autism campaign in Canberra is being held on the 2nd September, 2010.

It’s simple – if you live in Australia and have a child with an autism spectrum disorder, you can assist the campaign by emailing a photo of the child (or a drawing from them) to the organisers. They are hoping to lay out 1,000 photos of autistic children (of all ages) on the lawn in front of Parliament House. We are speaking on behalf of children who often cannot speak.

There are not enough services for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders.

I have reproduced below a letter from Leanne Madsen promoting the campaign:


Hi There,

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Leanne Madsen and my son Nathan was been diagnosed with High Functioning Autism 12 months ago. I attend a group here in Sydney called KU Starting Points. It’s a support group for parents as well as a free service for our children. While attending an Early Intervention Program through KU, I came into contact with other mums who were equally frustrated with the lack of treatment our children receive from the government. Thus, started The Voice For Autism group.

Glenda Graban is a co founder of The Voice For Autism. Her son Ryan has also been diagnosed with Autism and she also has 2 year old Jake, who has Down Syndrome. Glenda is also the founder of The Right Start foundation which supports families touched by Down Syndrome and has been successful in having Down Syndrome removed from the medical defect register here in NSW.

Simone Ramsey-Spence, also a co founder, is mum to Alec. Alec is 4 years old and also has Autism.

The Voice For Autism is campaigning in Canberra at Parliament House on 2nd September. We hope to place at least 1000 photo’s of Autistic children of all ages on the lawn of Parliament House to show the government just how many children are effected by Autism. We currently have a Facebook page with over 1,300 members. We also have a webpage up, however it is still under construction.

We have recently had talks with Nicole Rogerson and Elizabeth Sarian from Autism Awareness as well as Tony Abbott, the Opposition Leader. Nicole and Elizabeth have very kindly donated their marketing expertise and Tony Abbott is very interested in talking with us further.

We have the full support of KU Starting Points, Autism Awareness aka 1000hrs Campaign aka The Lizard Centre here in Sydney, AEIOU in Queensland and Friends for Autism in Perth. Glenda, Simone and myself have so far been successful in spreading the word for The Voice For Autism through radio interviews, newspaper articles and through the internet and the photo’s are coming in fast. However, we still need more!

The Voice For Autism would very much appreciate your help with spreading the word and asking other parents to email in their photo’s of their children to voiceforautism@live.com.au or they can post them on our Facebook page: The Voice For Autism: We speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. Alternatively, if parents do not feel comfortable with posting a photo of their child/ren, they may like to send in a drawing their child has completed. Also, could parents please list their child’s name, age, diagnosis and the state they reside in.

Alternatively, we are in the process of printing of flyers and brochures. Please advise if we could send you a few to place in your office.

Please feel free to contact my on 0422 842 576 at anytime should you wish to discuss any further queries.

Again, we would appreciate the help from you and your centre.

Thank you & Kind Regards

Leanne Madsen

The Voice For



9 thoughts on “Voice for Autism

  1. For most of my professional career as a Speech and Language Pathologist I have dealt with these types of issues and the failure of government to fund at appropriate levels for research or services for children…guess those we elect would rather buy army gear so they can continue to play soldier…best of luck with this.

    1. Thanks slpmartin – I didn’t know you did that, you’ll know all about it then. Services have improved considerably in the last 9 years (6 early intervention centres set up in Queensland) but not nearly enough.

  2. There really are no where near enough resources… As you know Gabe, I work with many children each day in schools with ASD, and the greatest barrier to success is hands down, the lack of resources. Schools that do well are the schools with passionate people, but sadly, that often leads to burn out. I really hope this campaign helps the Govt. start to understand the massive gap in services that is aching to be filled.

    1. Thanks Graham. There has been a greater awareness among politicians (not enough but) mainly because Kevin Rudd’s wife Therese has a brother with autism – it usually takes some type of personal association for changes to be made (like Bob Hawke injecting funds into alcohol and drug services when his daughter nearly died from being a heroin addict).

  3. Note: I just found out they are postponing the campaign until next year, because of the election (they won’t be ready in time) – you can still send your photos in and they will keep you informed of the date and stuff.

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