Special Needs training for health workers and first responders

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I've started this petition in the hopes of creating awareness of one of the small hardships faced by people who have invisible disabilities. My son is 9 years old and has been diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). He has had a few trips to hospital, he had open heart surgery at age 5, and just recently he fell and fractured his wrist. Both times we have had some amazing hospital staff that will go the extra mile for our little man, but we have also had staff that wont listen when we try to explain that his treatment isn't going to be by the book. We've had nurses tell us that there's nothing wrong with him, that we baby him and encourage unwanted behaviour. I've had a nurse in the waiting room interrupt his stimming because she wanted him to sit on a chair, then give me filthy looks and a lecture when I allowed him to sit on the floor and stim. I've had a nurse try and take him out of my arms because she believed I didn't need to carry him no matter how much my Mother In Law and I tried to explain. Through our experiences, and the experiences of others, it seems that a lot of people who work with the general public have either no clue, or a very misguided concept of what ASD actually involves. Some interactions with these people can be very damaging to those with this disorder. While these interactions may seem to be very fleeting for most of us, the same cannot be said for those with ASD, who can suffer after these interactions, sometimes for days. A person who is autistic and overwhelmed will not respond to stressful situations in what we assume to be a 'normal' fashion. Sometimes they can appear to be aggressive when all they are doing is struggling to cope. I firmly believe anyone who works closely with the general public in areas such as heath, schools, and first responders should have some sort of formal training in dealing with those with invisible disabilities. If you sign this petition, you are joining me in asking Troy Grant MP (Minister for Justice and Police, Minister for Emergency Services), Raymond Williams MP (Minister for Disability Services), and Brad Hazzard (Minister for Health) that people who may come into close contact and interact with people with an invisible disability, such as ASD, attend some type of formal training on people with disabilities. Knowledge is power, and if they have the knowledge of what the traits of these disorders are, the have the power to assist them better. Its only a small gesture to you, but one that can mean more than you could imagine to someone else.



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