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News Report Page 12 of 18
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Western Australian Parliamentary Committee visits Southport to see a local GP

AN estimated 1 million Australian adults (5%) had Type 2 Diabetes from 2014 to 2015, according to self reported data from the ABS 2014 to 2015 National Health Survey. Whilst Australia has begun to develop strategies for diabetes prevention programs, further efforts are required and, as noted by the UN, the role of the Government in developing a multi sectored approach to prevention is essential.

As a result of National Health Survey findings, the Education and Health Standing Committee, a permanent committee within the Western Australian Parliament, launched an investigation to find ways to deal with this issue. Part of this investigation has lead to them visiting the United Kingdom to gather information and evidence regarding the role of diet in Type 2 Diabetes prevention and management.

On 31 January 2019, the Committee visited Southport, England, to hear from an NHS GP, who is based at the Norwood Surgery, in Southport, Merseyside. Dr David Unwin, who in association with Diabetes Digital Media founded an award winning Low Carb Program, and with over 350,000 users, since it's launch, within the UK, on World Diabetes Day 2015, it has revolutionized diabetes care, inducing Type 2 Diabetes remissions in 1 in 4 members. This is a video interview with a member of the visiting Education and Health Standing Committee Chair, Ms Janine Freeman along with Dr Unwin.

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It is hoped that this global collaboration will assist in expanding the treatment options available to type 2 diabetics.

It's also worth adding that this local Merseyside based Doctor has been applauded by Lord Balfe, a key figure in European and International Parliamentary Affairs and Honorary President and Global Patron of NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health. Lord Balfe says:- "Dr Unwin has shown the benefits to be gained from the treatment of type 2 diabetes by dietary modification. Not only does his simple and easily understandable set of modifications to diet lead to a potential life free of drugs, but it also cuts the cost of treatment within an overstretched NHS."

Additionally, Dr Unwin has transformed the education of healthcare professionals. In 2018, the Royal College of General Practitioners chose:- "Type 2 Diabetes - a Low GI Approach" that has been written by Dr David Unwin in collaboration with, as November 2018 course of the month, for 2018 National Diabetes Awareness Month. The 30 minute online course for Health Care Professionals has already been completed by nearly 450 healthcare professionals since it launched.

More recently, Dr Unwin and colleagues published a paper in August 2018, which evaluated the 1 year outcomes of 1000 people in the UK who engaged in the Low Carb Program; a digitally delivered, nutrition focused, structured, weekly lifestyle intervention for adults with type 2 diabetes.

About the Education and Health Standing Committee:- The Education and Health Standing Committee is 1 of a number of permanent committees of the Legislative Assembly (the lower house of the Western Australian parliament). It meets for 1 morning every sitting week (approx. 22 weeks a year) and also undertakes some activities (such as this travel) when parliament is not sitting. The committee undertakes inquiries relevant to its portfolio areas:- Education, Health and Mental Health.

Author alumna donates ASC books

A former Edge Hill University student has donated copies of her books to support future teachers in their understanding of children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). Lynn McCann, has specialised in SEN (Special Educational Needs) since graduating in 1990 with a Teaching Degree and has worked in Mainstream and Specialist Schools, as well as lecturing in Childhood Studies. Her consultancy Reachout ASC is based in East Street, Leyland.  Lynn's experiences and knowledge have led to the publication of three books developed with LDA Learning, focusing on Primary and Secondary School children with ASC, as well as the idea behind:- 'Social Stories.'

Her 1st book, How to Support Pupils with Autism Spectrum Condition in Primary School, was released in 2016. She said:- "There are many books about autism, but not many for mainstream classroom teachers. Teachers value practical advice and some of them helped me form the structure, covering early years to key stage 2 and the transition to Secondary School. I did a lot of research and used practical examples of things we knew helped the children we had been supporting. Children have taught me so much, so I tried to make sure that anyone reading it would understand from the child's point of view. The feedback has been very good, and the book has sold well."

The follow up, How to Support Children with Autism Spectrum Condition in Secondary School addressed issues more in keeping with the transition into adolescence and adulthood. "I concentrated on key common areas such as:- accessing lessons, organisation, homework, independence, social interactions, puberty, sensory issues and post year 11. I am really proud of the contribution my students made and have included some of their quotes so that teachers can understand how hard they try and how difficult School can be for them. Having the right support that helps their independence and self development is crucial."


Stories that explain: Social stories for children with autism in Primary School came out in 2018, using the format of Carol Gray; who invented the concept; and its personalised approach to help children with ASC understand the wider world. "I started writing social stories after having training and they have become a useful resource. They have been effective but are not always the best strategy. The key point is to explain something, to help them understand it better in a way that makes sense to them. Then if they need to react differently they are given advice and options rather than absolutes. I've written stories about toileting, going on trips, daily school events and understanding what happens at a funeral. They can cover anything… if written correctly. We put together over 60 that are editable on the CD that comes with the book. It explains how to personalise and illustrate them and how to adapt for different abilities. I hope people find it really useful."

Lynn remains busy with her writing and support work, having set up her Reachout ASC consultancy in 2014. She has contributed a chapter in a book about educating girls on the autistic spectrum, which is released this summer, as well as a board game for LDA. She added:- "It is called The Waiting Game which I invented for a child I was working with. It was so successful with him that his mum used the strategy at home. I've used it with many children. We added silly monsters and four types of scenario cards. The artist did a great job of illustrating the board and children didn't want to stop playing it. Most teachers realise that teaching autistic children can mean a very different approach and are crying out for training, ideas and resources they can use in their classrooms. My writing is an extension of trying to get the message out there."

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