Queensland, Australia – A hard hitting campaign is gathering strength in Australia, asking the question why there are no autism specific school in the district.
The campaign spearheaded by Nicole Vellar includes a Facebook page which currently has 691 likes and a petition which will be presented to the Hon John Paul Langbroek, minister for education in Australia demanding autism specific school.
Nicole told Autism Daily Newscast:
“I have two beautiful young children. Both with blonde hair…blue eyes…. smiles that light up a room. Oh – and they have autism.
“My son is now in grade one at a mainstream school in Queensland. After 2 years of early intervention therapy (and lots of money spent, as you are probably all aware), we felt that he was ready for school. Boy, were we in for a shock! Noah immediately shut down as soon as we transitioned him from his safe special education centre, where he was in a class of 4 to a mainstream school with a class of 24 children!
“Our last year has been a HUGE struggle and Noah now spends 5 days a week in his special education unit. Most of these days he is alone in an empty room. Many children like Noah do not qualify as intellectually impaired – so they are not able to attend a special school. The problem is that my son is also not able to attend a mainstream school. In QLD there is no “plan C’.”
Alongside the campaign they Nicole is adding faces to her Facebook campaign of children with autism.
She hopes to get at least 2000 signatures on the petition and states:
“70% of individuals with autism have developmental delay or intellectual disability – this is a widespread concern that needs to be appropriately supported throughout ALL school years. The current level of support in mainstream schools (although helpful) is not enough for our children.
“Our goal is to establish a non-IQ based autism school from prep to year 12 – offering adaptive and individual learning plans, therapeutic support and special education teachers for children on the moderate to severe autism spectrum.
“As parents of children with autism, we have recognised a hole in the education system in QLD for children who fall between the gap; They do not qualify for special school – but are not able to regulate in a mainstream setting (even with a special education unit).”
Please sign here.