National position: appropriate education for students with ASD

In April 2010, Australia's Autism Month, the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders (AAB ASD) launched its position paper on Education and Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia: The provision of appropriate educational services for school-age students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia.

The Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders calls for educational services for school-aged Australian children and adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that are governed by the following principles:

  1. Every child and adolescent with an ASD should have access to an educational service appropriate to his her/needs
  2. All government and non-government educational sectors should provide educational services that cater to the needs of children and adolescents with an ASD
  3. Educational services must be responsive to all children and adolescents across the autism spectrum
  4. There should be a range of educational services for children and adolescents with an ASD
  5. Educational services must address the students’ needs in communication, social skills, learning, sensory issues and behaviour and include family involvement
  6. Increased provision of teacher education and training to improve the capacity of educational services to provide for students with an ASD
  7. Educational services are based on sound evidence and quality indicators
  8. Following an application for service, enrolments should proceed in a timely manner to ensure students with ASD access appropriate educational services as soon as possible.

The AAB ASD paper calls for the provision of appropriate educational services for school-age students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia. The complete paper presents in detail 8 key principles aimed at achieving an increase in appropriately allocated resources, collaboration between key stake holder groups and improving the capacity of the educational services and service providers.

Jon Martin stated: “Across Australia, the development of appropriate educational services is a critical priority. Demographic data tells us that most people with an ASD diagnosis in Australia are of school age – and this number is growing. ASD prevalence more than doubles every 5 years. As such, there is a significant increase in the number of students diagnosed with ASD that will require specialised support. Currently, there are high rates on suspensions, exclusions and part time schooling that impacts on ensuring the best opportunities and educational outcomes for students with an ASD”

Links to download the position paper follow ...