More on this petition:
We need more funding for children with special needs in schools. We need teachers to be trained in autism and other disabilities.
To the Australian Federal government, NSW state government and the department of education, The time for change and inclusion in schools is NOW! It is time to invest in the children who are our future. It is time to believe in children who have autism, sensory processing and other disabilities! It is time to invest in these children and to provide our children with a supported education. I am a blessed person to know many wonderful children who are on the spectrum, one of those wonderful children is my son. Every single one of these children have the potential to lead successful and fulfilling lives. But, the education system is failing many of these children by not providing adequate support for them in schools. The rates of people who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are on the rise annually. The ABS shows alarming statistics which support this statement. There are too many children getting lost in the school system, be it socially or academically due to the total lack of support and awareness in schools. "In 2012, 5% of children with autism attended school and did not experience any educational restrictions. Of the 95% of children who did experience some restrictions, 6% of children were not able to attend school because of their disability and 44% needed to attend either a special class in a mainstream school, or a special school. For children with autism who were attending school, 86% reported ‘having difficulty’ at school, the majority of whom had difficulty with fitting in socially, learning and communication" - Australian Bureau of Statistics The NDIS is being introduced at the moment which aims to provide better support in schools. However, this will not be enough and the majority of New South Wales will not see any benefits until between 2016 and 2018. We need this support NOW! There is nowhere for children to retreat during a meltdown or when they are overloaded. They can be left to roam school grounds until their parent or carer can collect them. I believe the Australian state and federal governments have a responsibility to ensure all children are able to receive an education, this is a basic human right! Schools need to be able to support children with additional needs, but this is not currently happening due to a lack of funding and resources. This issue is important because there is a total lack of understanding of autism and sensory processing disorder in schools. This means that schools that don't have a support unit on site can not fully cater to the complex and special needs of a child with autism spectrum disorder. I call on the department of education and the NSW state government as well as the Australian federal government to help our children. I call on you to provide the support they need to succeed in schools. There are not enough places in special needs units and parents are forced to put their childs' name in a lottery of sorts to compete for a spot in these supported classes. There is nothing fair or just in this system. Please support our children. They may be unique and have different needs to neuro-typical children, but this does not make them less deserving of an education or anything else! Yours sincerely, An ASD mum who is sick of her child being treated like a number a.k.a Alex