Seeking the adoption of a Multiple District Project

Submitted by: District 201N5 Convention


Subject: Preschool Autism Education and Therapy

Motion: “That this Multiple District Convention adopts the Preschool Autism Spectrum Disorders Education and Therapy Project as a Category “B” Project for a term expiring on the 30th June 2012.

Explanation: The rate of childhood autism in Australia has increased. New research from La Trobe University has revealed one in every 119 Australian children suffers from autism and this is up from one child in 160 just three years ago. Other research argues that one in 100 children is born with autism.

Evidence supports the need for early preschool intervention educational therapy to give children with autism better life outcomes.

At present the Federal Government provides, through Medicare, $12,000 over two years towards various types of autism therapy. The recent Federal Budget also provides an additional 20 service sessions over a life time for Psychology, Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy. A carer’s allowance of $53.00 a week is also available through Centre Link. Other limited support is available.

Despite these payments the cost facing a young working family which wants best outcomes for their child with autism by providing what is considered best practice educational therapy (after extracting a Medicare refund of $6,440.00 for the year 2010) will be well in excess of $30,000.00 per child.

These costs can be financially crippling. Many families have sold their homes and have moved in with their parents in order to provide educational therapy for their child who is autistic.

If the Federal Government increases funding for preschool children who are autistic then their chances for a better adult life will be enhanced thus potentially reducing their lifetime dependence on government social welfare.


Details: All Lions Clubs in Australia are requested to make representations to the Federal Government and their respective State Governments and, where relevant, their respective Local Governments to increase financial support for Preschool Autism Spectrum Autism Education.

All Lions Clubs in Australia are requested to make representations to the Federal Government to raise financial support for Early Intervention Preschool Autism Education and Therapy provided by qualified Health Professionals to a minimum of $30,000.00 per annum per child, claimable through Medicare.

The Project, if adopted, will be managed by the Lions Club of Lugarno Inc and that Managing Club will:-

1. Appoint a Committee and Chair

2. Promote the Project to Clubs

3. Prepare suitable pro-forma letters for Clubs to use in making representations to Members of Parliament and where relevant Local Government Representatives.

4. Meet all costs of printing and posting material to Clubs. $3,000.00 has been set aside. There will be no financial costs to MD 201. The only cost to participating Clubs will be postage, which will be minimal.

5. Submit Reports to MD as provided in the Constitution.

Financial Implications: The adoption of the Project would incur no financial commitment to Clubs save for the cost of some stationery and postage.