Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Vision for Disabled Unrealistic

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Vision for Disabled Unrealistic

Article excerpt

RE: Queensland Senator Sue Boyce and her unrealistic vision of the disabled being integrated and accepted in the broader community by scraping Special Schools (Daily, March 29).

Make your vision a realistic goal, Senator Boyce. Help the children with special needs who are currently accessing the mainstream education system. It is failing them now.

To add more special needs children to schools with untrained staff and buildings which are hopelessly inadequate to safely meet their needs is ridiculous.

I have seven-year-old autistic twins who attend a state school. This state school has 1174 enrolments. Of these there are 128 children with special needs, but they have funding for only 88 of these children, putting a huge strain on the resources they already have to the point that the education needs of both C[pounds sterling]normalC[yen] and C[pounds sterling]special needsC[yen] children are suffering.

Special needs children are constantly getting suspended from the mainstream settings and parents have no option but to home school. This is a system which is failing miserably.

Their classrooms of 26 have at least four children on the autism spectrum, with untrained, inexperienced teachers who know nothing about their disabilities and how to cater for them.

With the arrival of a new HOSE (Head of Special Education) who has actually been trained and worked in a special education facility, I finally feel as though I have at least one member of staff who is working with me, and not against me, in trying to deliver an education program, in a setting which is conducive to my children's educational needs.

I have to advocate daily for my children's right to an education. How about you stepping up to the mark, Senator Boyce, and get the system which is already in place fixed before looking at unrealistic visions.

Some of our kids are here, accessing your system, and it's your system which is failing them. …

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