Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

International Asperger’s Day

Today is International Asperger’s Day, an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of people with Asperger’s Syndrome and show support for their families and carers.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas said that today, friends, family and carers of people with Asperger’s, support organisations and communities would unite to promote an understanding of Asperger’s Syndrome.

“Asperger’s is a condition on the Autism Spectrum and is recognised as part of the Australian Government’s $220 million Helping Children with Autism package,” Senator McLucas said.

The Helping Children with Autism package provides early intervention services and therapies to help children’s development, as well as family support and playgroups.

“We know that investing in early intervention for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder before they get to school gives them the best chance of reaching their full potential,” Senaotr McLucas said.

“This program is assisting families with the costs of caring for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder during the most critical period of their children’s development.

“Asperger’s, and other conditions on the Autism spectrum, should be no barrier to leading a fulfilling, happy and productive life.

More than 16,000 children have accessed early intervention services and therapies through the Helping Children with Autism package since it commenced in October 2008.

Building on the success of Helping Children with Autism, the Australian Government established the Better Start for Children with Disability initiative from 1 July 2011.

Better Start gives children under the age of six who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and vision or hearing impairments including deafblindness, access to up to $12,000 in early intervention funding.

This is the third year International Asperger’s Day has been recognised on 18 February, which is the anniversary of the birth of Dr Hans Asperger, the physician who defined the syndrome and whose work has been recognised worldwide.

For more information on raising children with autism, go to

Families can register their child for Better Start by calling Carers Australia on 1800 242 636 and for more information parents can visit