Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Doszpot): Madam Speaker has received letters from Ms Berry, Dr Bourke, myself, Mr Gentleman, Mr Hanson, Ms Lawder, Ms Porter, Mr Smyth and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Madam Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Ms Lawder be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of providing intensive early intervention programs for children with autism in the ACT.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.17): It gives me great pleasure to rise today to talk about an important topic—early intervention services for children with autism. Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person's lifetime. ASD encompasses characteristics varying in severity across domains of cognitive, communication and social development with restricted interest and repetitive behaviour.