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Would you like to find out more about peer support groups in WA?


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Click here to find:

- the link to the list of disability service organisations which provide service on behalf of Disability Services Commission, sorted by region: REGION

- the list of services registered to provide services under NDIS in our State: WA

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Telethon Kids Institute has developed a questionnaire to measure 'quality of life' in children with Down Syndrome.

They are seeking parents with a school aged child or adolescent with Down syndrome to road test their new questionnaire.

Siblings Australia is running a project, "Creating Capacity: Support for Adult Siblings Project" to build the capacity of siblings to understand the NDIS and to support their brothers and sister with disbility in the transition to the NDIS environment.

A reference group is being set up to guide the implementation of the project, and the group will oversee the governance and help maximise outcomes for siblings, people living with disability and their broader families in the light of the NDIS.

If you would like to find out more about this project, or be part of the reference group:



Click on the image above to read the report....

"The lives of people with disability are often secret lives. We are routinely segregated and isolated from our non-disabled peers – we live, work and play in places which are not often frequented by those without disability. Often, we are lonely. If we do not have families, paid staff are sometimes the only people in our lives. We are shut out by barriers to participation in Australian life, and shut in when we are hidden in institutional settings."

(Report authors Samantha Connor and Ben Keely)

The Peer Connect website is for people living with disability, their families and supporters.

The website has information about having choice and control in your life, the NDIS, connecting with Peer Support Networks and getting involved with your community.


Duchenne Foundation in WA have published a great new story for children called "That's What Wings Are For". Part proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Duchenne Foundation.

Read more about it here, including an author interview 






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30 August 2016: 

DDWA welcomed Bruce Uditsky and Anne Hughson to Perth from Alberta, Canada.

Enabling children and adults wiht FASD to have meaningful and inclusive lives is still relatively rare in much of the world. Only recently have the avenues to a more promising life begun to be understood and applied, with hope and possibility being restored for families (biological, adoptive and foster) and their sons and daughters with FASD. HIstorically individuals with FASD have been portrayed as a societal burden, with little chance at success in life.

More strategies and resources have typically been allocated in preventing FASD than have been applied in addressing what can and should be done to support individuals who have FASD. This workshop will offer alternative ways of understanding FASD and how embedding children, adolescents and adults within normative pathways can result in community membership and participation including employment with reduced secondary disabilities so often associated with FASD.

Click to read more and register



3 June 2016:


Shining a light on disorder

Aaron Corlett - South Western Times, 3 June 2016

Educating the public about the issue of foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in the South West was the idea behind a conference in Bunbury on Monday.

People from the health and education fields joined representatives from the Department of Child Protection at the South West Italian Club to discuss the problem, which occurs when women drink while pregnant which can cause learning difficulties and developmental delays for children.

The conference was organised by Foster Families South West and featured speakers from child health and education service Patches Paediatrics.

Foster Families South West chairwoman Gay Pritchard said the idea of having the conference came about when one of the organisation’s carers approached her following concerns about her child.From Left: Patches Paediatrics occupational therapist Bernadette Safe, Foster Families South West chairwoman Gay Pritchard, Patches Paediatrics director Dr James Fitzpatrick

“The idea is to get a consensus of knowledge so everyone understands the disorder,” she said.

“My main hope is that carers know there is something they can do and they can get their child diagnosed.

“It was good to get the guys from Patches because they are the experts and they can get the best outcome for children.”

Patches Paediatrics director Dr James Fitzpatrick said the point of his talk was to educate the attendees about the disorder, which was not always easy to diagnose because those affected were sometimes wrongly thought to be lazy.

“We know that women should not drink alcohol while they are pregnant but I’m hoping we can support individuals and this can be a catalyst for change about how it is diagnosed,” he said.

“The idea was to get all the agencies together and develop a plan to tackle FASD because a collaborative approach is needed.”

Dr Fitzpatrick said there was no data about the rates of the disorders in Bunbury or the South West but he was hopeful numbers could soon be gathered.

“We need more information about the prevalence of FASD to have targeted therapy,” he said.

Dr Fitzpatrick said Australia had been slow to recognise FASD as a problem but it was now catching up with the rest of the world.

“We’ve seen an increase in cases over the past 20 years because there is more awareness and it is better diagnosed,” he said.



4 November 2015:

ABC online: West Australian courts look set to be given access to screening for brain damage and developmental delays caused by Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

The test could change the outcome of cases, but disability advocates warn it could also put more people at risk of indefinite detention for the mentally impaired.

An estimated 5000,000 Australians suffer from brain damage and developmental delays caused by mothers drinking during pregnancy.

Perth Children's Court Magistrate Catherine Crawford has said she believed many of the young people coming before her court suffered form Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. 

Read more here...


May 2015:


Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is found in all social groups, in all areas, across WA, across Australia, and across the world.

Understanding and addressing the needs of children and young people living with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) - this is a resource which includes a 40 page resource for teachers; you tube videos

Dr James Fitzpatrick is a consultant paediatrician, founder and Director of Patches Paediatrics, a child health service that is revolutionalising child health services in remote communities. Click here to watch his TEDx Talks