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Education Overhaul No Child Left Behind

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Inclusion - the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure

Chase is a four year old autistic boy who is due to start prep 2016.

Thursday afternoon Disability Services, Education Queensland and all other stakeholders met at a local school regarding Chase attending next year, it was a complex case management meeting. Prior to the meeting EQ had been working with Chase, they made observations and later a cognitive assessment was done to establish the best possible placement for Chase. Disability Services also added their reports.

Once the cognitive report was back. Chase's parents had three options of schooling next year.

  • special school ONLY for his behaviour and medical/sensory issues as his IQ is above cut off point.
  • delay prep and hope his behaviours get better. 
  • Mainstream with added supports.  
     

Chase's parents went with option three, mainstream and set up the meeting with all relevant persons .

The meeting didn't go as planned and it was unlikely that the school could support Chase's needs. They didn't have the funding, what they believed Chase needed was one on one support, a shadow. Even with accessing regional emergency funding the money wouldn't last, and what they could really offer Chase would only be ONE hour per DAY of schooling. Sadly this wasn't the first meeting regarding Chase's schooling, there had been two others with similar outcomes both private and public schools around the area.

EQ didn't have the money to help support Chase's needs and when Disability Services were asked about added supports they said "It was a Education Queensland problem."

Not only did Chase not qualify for an education but mum will also be forced to leave her job. 

The public schooling options for ASD students are sink or swim in mainstream class with insufficient supports, have watered down curriculum in the special needs class or attend a special school with lower social and academic expectations.  None of these options are meeting the needs of many of our local ASD students.  Keeping up with deadlines and national curriculum goals seems to take priority. Funding for our kids end at school age. The assumption is that the school take over in meeting their needs. However unlike early intervention funds with a specific amount for each child when they reach school age the resources are scares and given on a priority of need bases. This is not acceptable for ASD children or any child who needs speech, occupational therapy or physical therapy to have equal access to education. Studies coming out are showing that ASD kids are more likely tone suspended that others, struggle to finish school and drop out. It's also true that a large percentage of adults with ASD or Social Communication Disorder are unemployed or under employed.  Something needs to be done.  We may even be able to say the system is discriminatory to those of us with ASD.  

Until something is done more kids just like Chase will be left behind.

Every child deserves quality education !

Please copy & paste this message and email it to your local PM, you can find their details at http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/members/current/list/current-ministers and tell Chase's story.



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