Australian Governments don't educate children with autism

For some Australian children with autism, access to education is impossible … and Australian Governments just don't care.

A recent news item (see http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/2044236/parents-call-for-autis...) shows yet another group of parents calling for “an autism-specific school, to ensure their children's [education] needs are met”.

The Education Department in Victoria chose to ignore again clear signs that the needs of students with autism are not met in Victorian state schools. The Department issued it's usual mis-information saying “it had a coordinated support model to address all children's needs”*.

The Department's statement is provably false: the Walker vs Vic case is clear proof (see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/353). This case demonstrates the alleged “coordinated support model to address all children's needs” means “difficult” students are simply kicked out of school and denied access to education. The existing “model” model meets the needs of a few children with autism, but does not address the needs of all children.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that Australia's education systems nationally do not meet the needs of most students with autism (see http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4428.0main+features62009); and outcomes in Labour Force Participation (see http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4428.0main+features72009), a significant long-term goal of education, are abysmal for people with autism.

As noted in the Walker vs Vic decision, the Department's “coordinated support model” practice is backed by the High Court's Purvis vs NSW decision. Basically, Australian law does not ensure a child with autism, or any child real or perceived behavioural issues, has the Rights described in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRoC). Australian law, through the High Court's Purvis vs NSW decision, denies students with behavioural issues related to their disability any Right to access effective education. In this respect, Australian law is contrary to the protection provided in the internationally agreed CRoC. Attorneys-General refuse repeatedly to even respond when this issue is brought to their attention (see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/619).

Australians should not be surprised that increasingly other countries simply ignore Australian criticism of their human rights provisions because Australia itself chooses (hypocritically) to ignore internationally recognised human rights, such as the rights of all children, including children with autism, to education, treatment and rehabilitation.

Unfortunately, there is no way to hold Australia to account over it's denial of human rights for children. While there are signs that the United Nations may deliver some negative findings about Australia's approaches to it Convention on the Rights or Persons with a Disability, Australia has not been held accountable for its refusal to enact laws to protect children's rights.

It is possible this could change; there are signs that Australian and other children may in the future be able to complain formally to the United Nations (see http://theconversation.com/children-and-human-rights-abuses-coming-to-an...).

Australian families should not have to complain to international authorities about human rights to get effective education for their child with autism.