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The Forum > Article Comments > Students with disability > Comments

Students with disability : Comments

By Correna Haythorpe, published 27/11/2014

There are over 290,000 children with a disability in schools in Australia, yet the number receiving any kind of funded support, no matter how small, is just 183,000.

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Thank you for this article Correna. There is no doubt that the funding provided to students with disabilities is a cause for national shame. The diverse needs of students with disabilities require funding levels that support their parents to make the choices that are appropriate for their children's needs.

And how refreshing to read an article on the funding of schooling and Gonski that focuses on the needs of students without reverting to the government schools vs non-government schools dichotomy.
Posted by Ian D, Thursday, 27 November 2014 8:57:43 AM
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This is an area that has frustrated me for more than 12 years. I am the grandparent/guardian of an 18 year old boywith Aspergers, a form of high functioning autism.
What I see as the greatest issue for high functioning autistic kids is lack of training for teachers. As devoted and hard working as most of his teachers were, generally they didn't "get" autism. Like most of the general public, at a basic level they cannot reconcile high IQ with poor performance and severe anxiety. Money spent on training teachers the best teaching methods for children like this would reduce some of the demand for extra resources at schools, although would never entirely eliminate this.
Given the increasing number of children being diagnosed with autism, this training should be included in basic teacher education, not simply as a brief mention in a unit, but a major part of training.
Another area that could be improved is information given to parents about the process required to secure extra funding for the school. I found that schools varied greatly on their communication with parents and the level of information given. For instance, shortly before my grandson graduated from year 12 I was informed by the state Disability Commission that had I got my grandson registered with them the school would have have better access to funding for him.
Well, too late then! But these are areas that can be improved upon without costing much whilst improving outcomes for these kids at least.
Posted by Big Nana, Thursday, 27 November 2014 9:50:13 AM
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Well what do you know the Education union has found a reason to spend more money on teachers. I wonder how they missed the fact we have to cut back on spending, no matter how much we would like to increase it.

Yes we should spend a little on training a few teachers in handling kids like Big Nana's grandchild, but only for those kids who can gain independence from extra effort.

All too often special needs classes are merely a way of employing teachers, & giving cheap child minding for parents of kids who will always be a drain on society.

The more we throw at feel good solutions of the insoluble, the sooner we run out of the ability to offer any help. When we have hundreds of high ability kids suffering under incompetent teachers, we would be better off spending any money we may be able to afford, on educating them to their ability, rather than child minding.
Posted by Hasbeen, Thursday, 27 November 2014 1:49:32 PM
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Has, yes and hear hear. Schools started going backwards when unions got involved, and effectively prevented incompetent teachers being removed!
And as you say, place road blocks in the path of high achievers, many of who would be brighter and more knowledgeable, than those current tasked with teaching them.
As for Big Nana; Under the right tutelage her very special grandson might well blossom into another Eisenstein! [Or win a fortune counting cards in casinos. See Dustin Hoffman's rain man.]
All very doable, if we just prevented huge multinationals, often with budgets bigger than many sovereign nations, from avoiding (a fair share) tax!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Thursday, 27 November 2014 4:23:40 PM
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"Children with disability need the same things at school all children need to feel accepted and happy,"

That's a need, is it? God knows how I managed to survive 12 bloody years, then.

It's simple: I was miserable at school, and so should everyone else be.
Posted by PaulMurrayCbr, Thursday, 27 November 2014 9:26:04 PM
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