Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Australian mother wants her son with autism to be allowed to attend school

From the Australian Broadcasting Corp.:

A Hobart woman is hoping the Tasmanian Premier will intervene in her fight to have her autistic son attend school.

Tania Gordon says her eight-year-old son Caden has not been to school since December 2006 when he was asked to leave the Hobart school he was attending. Ms Gordon says Caden has now been refused entry to Cambridge Primary School, east of Hobart.

She says autism is a very isolating and lonely condition for a child and her son deserves the opportunity to mix with other children.

"Instead of it being shunted from Education to Health and then back to another one and everyone saying it's not our responsibility or anything," she said."For somebody just to stand up and say right what is in the best interests of this child and we will actually help you.

"Eventually i would like him to be able to go to a school, mainstream schooling."

In Parliament, the Premier David Bartlett was asked whether he believed all children with autism should be able to attend primary school.

Mr Bartlett said where possible, every child should attend.

"We're investing significant capital funds in the rebuilding of special schools right across the state," he said.

The Premier said funding for special needs children had more than doubled in the past five years.

Ms Gordon says her son is enrolled in Distance Education but has received no curriculum in the past 18 months.