News/Announcements

No security for teachers of special needs pupils

  • Anna Patty Education Editor
  • April 29, 2009

ELIZABETH GAWTHORNE has spent 11 years working with children at Marrickville High School yet is still classed as a temporary employee.

As a school learning support officer, she works alongside classroom teachers, helping children with special needs.

While satisfying, the job provides no security from one year to the next. Further training opportunities are limited.

"I have 11 years of experience and can be told I'm not wanted next year," she said.

Cuts to specialist services hit hard

from The Age, Letters

ONLY parents of children with disabilities and their advocates would spot the irony in Bronwyn Pike describing students with disabilities with challenging behaviours as being "through no fault of their own" (The Age, 22/4). Ms Pike's descriptions seems to be at odds with typical school responses to these behaviours — detention/ suspension/expulsion.

Right to an Ordinary Life - National Press Club

Hon Bill Shorten MP

Member for Maribyrnong
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services

Bill Shorten spoke on the 01/04/2009 at the National Press Club. The publicity (see http://www.npc.org.au/speakerArchive/bshort.html) said:

The Rudd Government has put the social inclusion of disadvantaged groups – including people with disability – at the core of its vision for Australia.

British boy 'too scared to travel to UK'

April 20, 2009

 

A teenage British boy with a form of autism is stranded in Australia because he is too scared to travel by air or sea home to England.

Thomas Hill's family moved to Sydney in January 2008 to start a new life but decided to return recently because they were homesick.

But 16-year-old Thomas, who has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, is still in Sydney with his mum Lisa because he has panic attacks about travelling.

Have bike - and Asperger's - will travel to show bullies he's no idiot

April 15, 2009


Ethan Johnson ... cycled from Brisbane to Sydney over two weeks.

A 15-year-old Brisbane boy with Asperger's syndrome who disappeared for two weeks and rode his bike more than 950 kilometres to Sydney did it to prove to "bullies'' he wasn't an idiot, his mother says.

During his six-day, dawn-to-dusk haul down the east coast, Ethan Johnson slept at truck stops, under bridges and ate at fast-food restaurants.

Anti-vaccination 'diatribe' ill-informed and factually wrong

9/03/2009 12:00:00 AM

I am not anti-vaccination but I am in favour of parents being given factual information regarding vaccinations so they can make informed decisions as to what they have their children vaccinated against and when they do it.

Jack Waterford's diatribe in Times 2 (March 5, p2) against people who decide not to vaccinate their children is both ill-informed and, in some cases, factually wrong.

I will restrict my response to just one area the link between autism and certain vaccines.

Researchers floored after study links autism to vinyl

LONDON
6/04/2009 12:00:00 AM

Children who live in homes with vinyl flooring have double the chance of being autistic, research has discovered.

The finding which amazed even the scientists conducting the study provides one of the first clues as to a possible cause of the condition.

The study, by scientists in Sweden, Denmark and the United States, stumbled across the connection almost by accident.

It is being taken seriously because autism has long been thought to result from environmental factors.

Sensory play 'key to beating autism'

Danny Rose
April 6, 2009

 

A visiting US autism expert says that while the disorder has no cure, many children with it can be taught to be so "functional" they overcome its most incapacitating features.

The key, says Dr Richard Solomon, is for parents of autistic children to intervene early with sensory-focused play which, he adds, may at first feel counter-intuitive.

Big pay day for top private schools in cash handout

DEBORAH SNOW
6/04/2009 12:23:30 AM

SOME of Sydney's wealthiest private schools will receive handouts of up to $200,000 each to refurbish already lavish sporting and arts facilities, under the first leg of the Federal Government's National School Pride program unveiled yesterday.

The federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard, said more than 2000 NSW schools would receive grants totalling $277.5 million to be spent on "maintenance and minor building works".

...

Telstra offshoot hires notorious teen hacker 'Akill'

MICHAEL FIELD
24/03/2009 12:53:00 PM
TelstraClear, Telstra's New Zealand subsidiary, has hired one of the worlds best known hackers - a teenager known as "Akill".

Nineteen-year-old Owen Thor Walker became the subject of a US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cyber crime investigation spanning the United States, Europe and New Zealand and dubbed "Bot Roast".

New Zealand police finally caught him last year and he admitted to being the ring-leader, code-named Akill, of a group known as the A-Team.

Bill Shorten launched a new information website

The media release (see http://www.alp.org.au/media/0209/msdcsfcs240.php) says ...

Parents and carers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) will benefit from a new information website created as part of the $190 million Helping Children with Autism package.

 

The website was launched today at Parliament House by the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services Bill Shorten.

 

Proposal for a National Disability Insurance Scheme

There is growing support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (see http://www.natdis.com.au/). A paper on the full proposal can be downloaded from http://www.natdis.com.au/NDIS.pdf.A4 members are encouraged to consider the proposal as tell us what they think about how such a scheme would affect people with ASD and their families.

National Disability Strategy: discussion paper and response

The Australian Federal Government is creating another National Disability Strategy (see http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/internet/facsinternet.nsf/disabilities/nds.htm).

The consultation was spectacularly short … about 6 weeks. The government launched its discussion paper on 17th October 2008. The closing date for comments was 1st December.

Mental Health system denies mental health services to youth with Asperger's Disorder


A Coroner's report details massive systemic failure in the mental health system.

The mental health system denied services for, Rowan Wheaton, a young man with fatal mental health issues, because he was also diagnosed with Asperger's Disorder. The Coroner's report can be downloaded here.

Media reports can be found at:

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