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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 2 Hansard (18 February) . .

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Asperger's is considered a spectral disorder and nowadays is considered part of the autism spectrum, or ASD. ASD is a lifelong development disability that affects how a person communicates and relates to other people and the world around them. It is a spectrum condition which affects each person differently, although they often share common areas of difficulty. Symptoms typical of Asperger's include social awkwardness, delayed motor development, a heightened sensitivity to loud noises, lights, or strong tastes or textures, and a propensity to be preoccupied with only one or very few interests.

Autism Asperger ACT relies heavily on its membership and the generosity of individuals to help raise awareness and to increase service delivery and support for people with ASD. Autism Asperger ACT provides a range of workshops for people with ASD, their families, carers and professionals within the ACT region. These workshops help to provide people with ASD support and assistance and help to educate families, carers and professionals within the ACT about ASD. A special activity that takes place each month is a games day, which sees children with ASD and their families getting together, sharing experiences and having fun at the same time.

This year, in recognition of International Asperger's Day, Autism Asperger ACT will be giving away two free tickets to a talk by Graeme Simsion, the author of international bestseller The Rosie Project. Graeme will be talking at the National Library on 29 April as part of Autism Awareness Month. Anyone interested in being in the draw for those tickets is encouraged to enter online at www.autismaspergeract.com/rosieproject.

I acknowledge the executive members of Autism Asperger ACT who continue to work hard and promote the aims of the organisation: CEO Peter Brady; president Peter Maskell; vice-president Trish O'Neil; secretary Liz Blakey; treasurer James Austin; and committee members Daniel Munro, Lora Shaw and Raj Satija. l also acknowledge the volunteers who work tirelessly to support this local organisation and raise awareness in the ACT and, of course, the individuals and the families who deal with living with this condition on a daily basis.

I encourage everyone in our community to support the activities associated with Autism Asperger ACT. Anyone interested in further information should visit their website.

ACT Greens

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (6.35): I rise today to draw the Assembly's attention to the fact that today, 18 February, is the 20th anniversary of the ACT Greens being elected to the Legislative Assembly of the ACT. For 20 years, since February 1995, the ACT Greens have had continual representation in the Assembly. Over that period we have worked hard to represent the people of Canberra who want to ensure that human rights, environmental rights, animal rights, and a sustainable and democratic future are a key part of the ACT agenda.


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