Fund educational placements for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Petitioned Prime Minister of Australia / Premier of Victoria

This petition was delivered to:

Prime Minister of Australia / Premier of Victoria

Fund educational placements for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    1. Adam Davis
    2. Petition by

      Adam Davis

      Langwarrin, Australia

Dear Prime Minister / Premier of Victoria
I am writing to you to urge your support and assistance with funding for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for our 11 year old son Ethan. From the age of 3, my wife and I have done everything possible for our son so that he is given the opportunity to fulfil his potential. We have attended countless Speech Therapy appointment, psychologists, paediatricians, psychiatrists as is common for parents in similar situations. We searched high and low for early intervention programs and the right school setting for him. This setting turned out to be The Naranga School in Franskton, a publically funded school for children whose motto is "Learning for Life". However, it now appears that the schools motto should have been "Learning for Life - Or until the Funding Runs Out".
The reason I say this, is recently, the Dept of Education have re-tested Ethan and have decided that he does not meet the criteria for remaining at Naranga. This is based on a 60-90 minute 'test', performed by a Contractor firm of Psychologists. As Ethan does not have an intellectual disability, apparently the main stream school setting is the place for him. This is despite everyone involved in Ethan’s care disagreeing with this assessment. Everyone involved in Ethan’s care believes that he will 'flounder', 'suffer', 'perhaps become violent' and 'be lost in the system', to quote just some of the comments made by Ethan’s psychologist, GP, paediatrician and current school teacher. We find this incomprehensible, that despite all expert opinion, a decision on a child’s welfare can be based on such a short assessment, with little or no grounds for anyone else involved in our sons care to influence or have any real say in his future.
As once huge supporters of the school and the government’s policies regarding early intervention for children with ASD, my wife and I am disgusted with this current state of affairs.
This decision does not affect just Ethan...it affects everyone around him. My wife and I are at a loss as to what to do for our son now, which affects our relationship, our mental health, has adverse affects on our other son and is a constant source of anxiety and stress for my wife and I. It feels like everything we have done for our son to improve his speech, his behaviours and all the other challenges he faces have been thrown back in our faces.
A child’s welfare (and the welfare of his family) is not a numbers game. These are real people’s lives that are being messed with and the impact this decision is having on our families’ welfare is massive. We write you because we are desperate. I have never written to a politician before. We urge you to please help us help our son to fulfil all his potential. As we said before, this is not a numbers game...it is our sons life this decision is toying with and as his parents, we simply cannot and will not sit back and let a short-sighted and ill-informed decision like this affect his life.
Thank you for your time,
Regards Adam Davis and Kellie Guinane
(on behalf of Ethan Terry Davis)

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 2,500 signatures
    2. Autism expert warns against cutting education funding - Lateline Transcript

      Adam Davis
      Petition Organizer

      A leading expert on autism is warning of the long-term costs if funds to assist the education of children with autism spectrum disorder continue to be cut.

      TONY JONES, PRESENTER: A leading autism expert is warning that state funding cuts will cause long-term damage to children with autism spectrum disorder. Around the country, funding for high functioning autistic children is under review. Thousands of families are affected as children are forced from special schools into mainstream schools.

      Hamish Fitzsimmons reports and the producer was Candice Talberg.

      HAMISH FITZSIMMONS, REPORTER: For children on the autism spectrum, even a specialist school can be a difficult place. Now many parents are faced with putting their kids into mainstream school for the first time, with governments changing funding arrangements so there are fewer places at specialist schools.

      FULL TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE AT: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3574820.htm

    3. Reached 1,500 signatures
    4. Lateline POSTPONED until Thursday Night

      Adam Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Ethan's story on the ABC's Lateline program has been postponed until Thursday 23rd August 2012.

    5. Watch LATELINE Tonight!

      Adam Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Wath ABC's LATELINE tonight at 10.47pm to see Ethans' story, Dr Tony Attwood and the story of hundreds and hundreds of other Australian families. Also, tune in to see if Julia Gillard's office comments on our petition. If you can't watch tonight, go to Lateline's website tomorrow to see the story and/or read the transcript:
      http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/

    6. Lateline, The PM and The Petition

      Adam Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Lateline called again this morning and wanted to know if the petition has been sent to the Prime Minister. It has (twice) and Lateline are now following it up with the PM's office to see what their response is. Very exciting news for all of wonderful supporters.

    7. Lateline and Dr Tony Attwood

      Adam Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Just received a call from Lateline. The story will be on Wednesday night (22/08/12) on the ABC. Furthermore, Dr Tony Attwood, widely regarded as Australia's leading expert on ASD, will be interviewed. He has asked if he could see Ethans' funding review report (which ofcourse we've done so) and I have to call him on Wednesday morning to talk more about Ethans situation. This may well be a really great thing as having someone such as Dr Attwood on side will be a big plus for us and the other families out there who are experiencing the same thing that we are - Team Ethan

    8. Reached 1,000 signatures
    9. Lateline is doing a story on what we are trying to achieve.

      Adam Davis
      Petition Organizer

      ABC's Lateline has been out this afternoon to do a story on Ethans' plight, with Walkley Award winner Hamish Fitzsimmons covering the story. We will keep our wonderful supporters informed as to when it will go to air. It will be next week sometime, but I will let you know the exact day and time when Hamish lets me know.

    10. Reached 750 signatures
    11. Melbourne's "The Age" is also lending it's support.

      Adam Davis
      Petition Organizer

      More support for the petition in Melbourne's broadsheet newspaper, The Age.

    12. The local paper, The Frankston Standard is getting behind Ethans' story.

      Adam Davis
      Petition Organizer

      Support for our petition is starting to really take off.

    13. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Nicole Lorenz SHEPPARTON, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      This issue is very important to me as my son was diagnosed with aspergers and has a mild intellectual disability as well. We have managed to get him into a local special school, as he falls just under the iq of 70 which is the cut off point for children getting into a special school. Iq is tested every two years, if Kyle were to fall over the line the other way, he will be sent to mainstream school whether I like it or not. As he does not have behavioural issues there would be minimal if any support for him at mainstream school, he would I have been told not receive any funding, when clearly he needs the extra help through his school years. The iq cut off needs to be raised and even better ALL autistic children need funding regardless of iq so no child falls through the cracks..

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sonny San Pedro SAN PABLO, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      I have a niece who have a special need child.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Melissa Parnell AUSTRALIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      I have 2 kids with ASD one much more affected than the other but both compomised in thier learning abilities. Please give people the funding and support placings these kids need. They need support school placings and aide time and funding to give them the best opportunity.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • margaret derwent SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      It is important to me because people with autism spectrum disorder to be treated like everyone else in the community. They deserve to have all the benefits as everyone else does. this costs money and I urge you to support not only this family but all families.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Aimee Jackson AUSTRALIA
      • almost 2 years ago

      This is important to me because I believe my 13 year old daughter has Asperger Syndrome and needs all the help she can get to be successful in completeing Secondary school.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.