OzAutism was created in February, 1996 by Sue and Lindsay Jackel and Carolyn Baird. Sue maintained the list until March, 1997 when she no longer had the time to devote to it and it was then that Carolyn took control as listowner.
In May 2000 the list was split into the OzAutism Support List and the OzAutism Information list. The OzAutism Information list was created by Carolyn Baird, Lindsay Weekes and Karen Burton. The original idea for the list belonged to Lindsay, Karen was the primary listowner maintaining the list on a daily basis and Carolyn was the listadmin. The reason this was done was so that the support list could remain a private list, but any information would be publicly available.
By February 2004, the amount of spam and viruses directed at the OzAutism Information list made it impossible to maintain it as an open list or to even convert it into a private list. The decision was made to close it down as a separate list and reincorporate it into the original list.
The list currently has 82 members from most states of Australia and New Zealand.
OzAutism was created for the purpose of discussing Australian issues pertaining to Autism and related conditions including Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, ADD/HD and others which involve developmental delays and/or require specific educational or medical early intervention.
Accordingly, the list is for Australian and New Zealand residents or Aussies/Kiwis living overseas but wishing to stay in touch with the local scene.
The list is open to any Australian or New Zealander who has an interest in autism and it is unmoderated at the present time.
OzAutism is a Mailman list.
For the benefit of members all posts are stored online in the Archives which can be easily accessed using the UserID and password supplied by the listowner in the Welcome message you received when you joined. The archives are located at: http://lists.apana.org/ozautism/archives.
Members can subscribe, unsubscribe or change any of their subscription settings at: http://lists.apana.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/ozautism.
My name is Carolyn Baird. I am high-functioning autistic. I am also the mother of 4 children (aged 39, 38, 35 and 24) all of whom are on the autistic spectrum - a mixture of diagnoses of Asperger's Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism. My 3 sons have all obtained their HSC - my daughter left high school at the end of Year 11 as she found it too difficult to cope with the attitudes of others her age and deal with the stress of the HSC at the same time. Since leaving school she has attended the local TAFE and found the educational environment there more to her liking. She has since acquired Certificate III in "Food and Client Support" and Certificate II in "Information Technology" and looks likely to successfully complete IT Certificate III this year.
Two of my sons are in full-time employment (both have 'careers' - not just jobs), married and parents themselves. At the moment I have 4 grandsons. My oldest son and my daughter are on disability pensions and are currently living with me.
As well as OzAutism I also maintain an international support group called PAN-L for relatives of children with autism and autistic individuals. I created PAN-L in July, 1994 to provide a haven for those of us who have to deal with the daily struggles of "living with autism".
I have had Internet access for the past 21 years and was one of the original members of the St John's Autism List. I am now one of the listowners of that list.
I was fortunate to be included in the 24 Hours in Cyberspace Project which took place on February 8th, 1996 and featured in the book of that project. I was later selected to participate (via Enhanced CU-SeeMe video hookup) in the opening of the 24 Hours in Cyberspace Exhibit which took place on January 24th 1998 at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.
In late 1989 I was tested for scotopic sensitivity and as a result was prescribed Irlen lenses, which until 4 years ago I had worn constantly. Without these lenses I would not have been able to use a computer in earlier years because standard filters would not have been sufficient to stop the glare from the screen causing me to suffer eyestrain and frequent headaches. I now find that although I still need to wear dark glasses when venturing out-of-doors, I no longer have any of the symptoms that I previously had. However it wasn't only my problem with glare that has been corrected by wearing the lenses, it was a surprise to discover the first time I put them on that previously I had had no depth perception and subsequently it turned out that my 'clumsiness' had been almost totally due to not being able to perceive depth. These lenses have improved my quality of life far more than I have room to detail here.
I enjoy routine clerical tasks but crave intellectual stimulation most of the time so the advent of the computer age was a godsend to me when circumstance s turned me into a 'stay-at-home Mum'. I was content just being a listowner unti l 1998, when as a member of APANA® (Australian Public Access Network Association ) the Hunter Region's hub was relocated to my home and I took over the position of Regional Co-ordinator and Management Committee Representative f or the Hunter Region (which has continued to host my mailing lists and webpages at no additional cost). In 2001, I resigned from both those roles (while remaining as an active member of the System Administration Team) when I was elected Treasurer of APANA Inc. - a position I currently hold and have held since then. In 2005, I was again elected Regional Co-ordinator for the Hunter Region. APANA is a non-profit/non-commercial association whose membership freely share their computer knowledge and expertise with others. As an APANA volunteer, my days are filled with financial management of the organisation; responding to members' queries/problems (at the national level by phone or email - at the regional level by email, phone or home visits); repairing or rebuilding computers for members' personal machines or the network's use; and maintaining the regional network's webpages and listserver for the use and benefit of all APANA members and members of my autism email lists.
I rarely make public appearances but did accept an invitation to speak on Asperger's Syndrome to the Newcastle-Hunter ADHD Support Group on February 16, 2006. A copy of that talk is available online (see On This Site).