Support Autistic Children in Public Schools: Provide adequate school funding; equal education; a caring environment
  • Petitioned The Hon. Adrian Piccoli MP

This petition was delivered to:

NSW Minister for Education
The Hon. Adrian Piccoli MP
Victorian Minister for Education
The Hon. Martin Dixon MP
Minister for Children and Early Childhood
The Hon. Wendy Lovell MLC
Minister for Education, Training and Employment
The Hon. John-Paul Langbroek MP
Western Australia Minister for Education
The Hon. Peter Colier MLC
Federal Minister for Education
The Hon. Peter Garrett MP
Leader of the Opposition
The Hon. Tony Abbott MP
Minister for Education and Training
Dr Christopher Bruce Burns MLA

Support Autistic Children in Public Schools: Provide adequate school funding; equal education; a caring environment

    1. Claire Galea
    2. Petition by

      Claire Galea

      Seaforth, Australia

Hi!

This is my little boy, Christian. He's nine and he's on the spectrum. He very bravely wants to be part of our campaign to help all autistic children receive better support and understanding in school. He knew that it meant telling everyone in his school that he's ASD and, sadly, facing potential bullying. But he still wants to help. Please help too by signing the petition and asking everyone you know to join in.

Autistic children are struggling to cope in the public school system. They are being unfairly punished, suspended and bullied for their autistic behaviour - and they don't understand why.

Sadly, one little nine-year-old boy tried to take his own life because he couldn't stand the violent bullying any more. Another little boy was made to sit in the school office every day because the school couldn't pay for adequate playground supervision. Another wasn't allowed to go on the year 6 camp to Canberra even though his mother offered to chaperone him at her own expense. Many, many children are being unfairly suspended.

Specific state funding for autism is inadequate or non-existent. In some cases, funding that was awarded under the old system is now being withdrawn by schools under the new Every Student Every School policy. Now that the spending of disability funding is at the discretion of the individual school, some schools are withdrawing the use of teachers aides for autistic children. What are schools doing with the money? To whom are they accountable?

Teachers are untrained in autism and are not able to understand or pre-empt autistic behaviour. Autistic children are told off for being naughty when their behaviour is simply autistic. As a result their confidence, self-worth and education are suffering. In other countries, this is considered discrimination.

Nationwide instigation and State-wide implementation of co-ordinated support and long-term funding for autistic children in schools is urgently needed. Support for these children should not be left up to the individual school. Please help by signing this petition and sharing the link with friends and colleagues.

Thank you.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 3,000 signatures
    2. Reached 2,500 signatures
    3. Autism Rainbow Day

      Claire Galea
      Petition Organizer

      Encourage your school to celebrate Autism Rainbow Day on April 27th. Children wear their favourite colour of the rainbow, share a morning tea, enjoy fun activities and raise funds for your school while raising awareness and support for autism. Sign your school up and tell your local paper!

    4. Reached 2,000 signatures
    5. Link to primary schools offering support classes

      Claire Galea
      Petition Organizer

      A list of primary schools offering support programs.

    6. New Facebook page

      Claire Galea
      Petition Organizer

      We've set up a new facebook page for parents with autistic children with useful links, events, updates etc. and just as a place for parents to vent or request advice or support! Please like it and share it with your friends.

    7. Reached 1,500 signatures
    8. Channel Nine's 'A Current Affair' is airing a forum on autism this week.

      Claire Galea
      Petition Organizer

      Please watch 'A Current Affair' this week (from Tuesday onwards) for more information on Autism. Please encourage all your friends to watch and to sign this petition.

    9. Please like us on Facebook

      Claire Galea
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you to all of you who have shared your experience - it makes the petition 'come alive' and so much stronger.

      Please consider emailing this link to family and friends or liking us on Facebook. Tell as many people as possible so we can improve our children's lives.

      Many thanks.

    10. The Ricky Stuart Foundation

      Claire Galea
      Petition Organizer

      As seen on A Current Affair, Ricky Stuart has set up a foundation to help families with autistic children. The website is in the process of being updated and will feature contact details shortly. Please find the link below.

      http://rickystuart.zooclients.com.au/

    11. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • sam walters FRANCE
      • 9 months ago

      Why is this even an issue? Only thing stopping this is rotten politicians and rotten economic ideology!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bridie Burke BATHURST, AUSTRALIA
      • 9 months ago

      As the mother of a child on the Spectrum, I know how important it is to give these kids the best start in life. ASD kids have the potential to get far in life, sometimes they just need a little extra help.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 10 months ago

      Being disabled should not mean being disqualified from having access to every aspect of life."

      -- Emma Thompson

      "The more I read and the more I talked to other parents of children with disabilities and normal children, the more I found that feelings and emotions about children are very much the same in all families. The accident of illness or disability serves only to intensify feelings and emotions, not to change them."

      -- Judith Weatherly

      “Acceptance of one's life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices.”

      -- Dr. Paul Tournier

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Matt Chambers AUSTRALIA
      • about 1 year ago

      My 3yo son was diagnosed with ASD last week

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • L D AUSTRALIA
      • about 1 year ago

      This is a basic human rights issue. Every Australian child should have equal access to quality education, and children living on the Autism spectrum are currently denied teaching of a suitable quality in obscenely large proportions. My son lives with Autism and has a brilliant teacher, specially trained to teach children with Autism, for this year and it's reminder. The previous year he was taught by non-specialist teachers, though he had an aide with him near half of the day at least. Nonetheless, he spent more time excluded and punished than not, and was discriminated against daily. His teachers made him stand in the corner of the classroom, facing the class, for whole days at a time, and rare was the day he was not sent sent to stand and be shamed in the corner. The only other child ever sent to the corner was a boy we knew to be recieving treatment for a mental illness. We ran into him and his family at a child psychiatric outpatient hospital, both of our families in desperation as to prevent permanent damage from the damaging exclusions and punishments recieved at the hands of teachers who cannot recognise "stimming" or hand flapping, as a symptom of Autism, rather than an intentional disruption of the class. So now the wonderful specially trained teacher, and a class of only eight. The problem? Placements are for a maximum of two years per child, one is usual. So fighting I fear, may need to be reinstated, in a lifelong battle to educate others that Autistic behaviours are not bad. Children with Autism are not bad. In fact no children are bad. Behaviour is to corrected, not the whole human. My son spent the 7th year of his

      Iife being told he was a bad boy, and was not good enough to participate with the rest of the class. Oh. And no school camp for him either. I also offered to chaperone. No can do. Nor the sports carnival. You name it. He's been excluded, stigmatised, blamed, derided, ridiculed, dismissed, ignored, resented, undervalued, tormented, bullied, denigrated, discriminated, denied, avoided, tolerated, and rejected. Those teachers nearly reversed 7 years of safe, nurturing, unconditionally loving, empowering, respectful, responsibility inuring, integrity generating, parenting and support. One year of lousy teaching stole more than his time and education. It stole much more.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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