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Legal Action for Funding High Functioning Autistic Kids
Action against education dept?


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#1 ELLY

Posted 17 August 2010 - 10:30 PM

Hi All,

My ds (high functioning autism) has been knocked back for funding in a mainstream school as his pragmatic language delay apparently is not enough (without a corresponding delay in receptive & expressive langauge).  He doesnt have an id and his behavioural problems are not severe enough to obtain funding.

I have just seen an article about some parents suing the education department on the basis of discirimination.  Here is the link - http://www.theage.com.au/national/educatio...00522-w31a.html

Can anyone point me in the right directin in terms of what is happening with these actions or even the law firm involved.  I am considering whether we shoud also take legal action.  

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

#2 twinboys

Posted 18 August 2010 - 12:04 AM

Wow......Legal action

Sam is about to under go cognitive testing and to be honest I am expecting no funding for him next year.
If we get 15 mins a day I would be amazed.
I know he will be lost in the classroom and we are lucky that he has a twin who will hopefully keep an eye out for him and prompt him to complete a task or to follow a direction.

If anyone has any more info i would love to join the movement and make some serious noise for ALL classrooms that have kids with ALL SNs!!



#3 Frightbat

Posted 18 August 2010 - 12:15 AM

I don't belong in this section but i saw it in current topics and as a teacher, I applaud the actions of those parents out there fighting for funding for their kids and hope they are successful.

cclap.gif

#4 Hypnic Jerk

Posted 18 August 2010 - 08:19 AM

The photo shown were people from CISCA -   (03) 9682 6637.
But they may not have anything to do with the article.  Worth a shot though.  Melbourne's not that big a place and you never know who knows who....

#5 JosieJoJo2000

Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:55 AM

I hear you on this one. My daughter has aspergers with very sophisticated language but a whole host of other problems. My son has high functioning autism with some speech delay, but not enough to qualify for funding. I was told (here in WA) that the ed assistant is not there to support a child's learning, but for physcial support. So, because my son can dress himself and eat without help he doesn't qualify. What the??

I went to an education seminar hosted by DSC a few years ago. The Education Dept said that they were trying to reduce the number of aides in classrooms because it "stigmatised the child" and they were reducing the number of special ed schools because they felt such schools did not set goals as high as a mainstream school. Every parent there said it was a load of...rubbish, to use a polite word. Kids are left struggling and teachers (who should be fully supported) can't cope. Other kids in the class suffer, too. Specialised education assistants facilitate the child's learning and social interactions. And parents I know with kids at special ed schools say that the staff set the bar higher, not lower, than mainstream schools. It's all well and good to just say "these kids need to mainstream" - but what if they can't cope in that environment? You can have super-bright kids failing because no-one can facilitate their learning.

I'm back at work now and paying ridiculous fees to send my kids to private schools who cater very well for their issues. My son's school in particular has amazing ed support, if a child doesn't qualify for funding they will cover the costs. He is mainstream as much as possible, has an aide and goes out for specialised learning as necessary. Every child should have access to this sort of learning environment, it's an outrage.

Jo

#6 baddmammajamma

Posted 18 August 2010 - 10:13 AM

ANY form of ASD is a serious matter! I hate that some kids are slipping through the cracks because they are deemed "not disabled enough."

My daughter is heading to a private school that should be well positioned to support her needs and gifts, but I am *very* mindful of the fact that many families can't afford private schools. Like Jo, I am working like a fiend to cover costs, but at least I have the type of job that will allow me to do so. Quality education and support should not be limited solely to those who can afford the steep price tag.

OP, I would be very interested in joining whatever effort/cause is out there to secure proper funding for all kids with additional needs -- not just those with ASD. Thanks for sharing the latest news with us.

Kristen

#7 scoutannie

Posted 18 August 2010 - 10:14 AM

Sorry I've kind gate crashed here, but I am a teacher in NSW and am surprised that the diagnosis alone isn't enough for funding. In NSW Autism gets funding, regardless of speech problems and it is up to the parents and school how it is spent, ie whether in class, on physical needs or in the playground to help out socially.

I hope you can get the support your kids need.

#8 jayen

Posted 18 August 2010 - 11:33 AM

I think one of the parents go to my sons Playgroup with her younger child, I will see what i can find out tmrow.  She has to take her child out of school lunch time every day because they dont have enough funding for an aide and the school cant handle him!
J

#9 Babybear

Posted 18 August 2010 - 02:07 PM

OP I didn't know of this legal action - however I know that the Ombudsman's Office (in NSW at least)  has just closed their "Consultative Process" and are currently sorting through the submissions they have received re: people's experiences with Disabilities Services.
contact person is: lblue@ombo.nsw.gov.au


Also the following study was being done recently:

This the NSW Government's 10 year plan for disability services.

The NSW Government invites members of the community who have an interest in
improving disability services in NSW to provide input into the planning
process for the next phase of Stronger Together.

You can make a submission by emailing:

strongertogether@dadhc.nsw.gov.au

or posting written comments to:

Stronger Together consultation feedback

Ageing, Disability and Home Care

Level 5,83 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Submissions must be received by 5pm 19th July 2010.


In any case it couldn't hurt to contact both and see if they are prepared to take your details. I realise it wont bring about any immediate funding etc. However IMO it is important that those who experience these inequities register our stories - in the vain hope that they WILL matter and eventually assist in bringing about some positive changes to Disability Services for our children.

As far as the NSW Ombudsmans Office is concerned at least by registering your complaint you are setting a precedent - so the next family who experiences this type of thing may have more success as a result of your earlier complaint. In this way we can have some sort of voice and can finally impact on these school services who currently have no obligation beyond going through the motions of their inept and inequitable Complaints Handling Policies.

I say fight until your last breath . I know it is necessary to prioritise your energies in this situation and it can take until you are some ways down the track of disability to get your bearings enough in order to re-group and have the strenth to widen your advocacy. But every time I get tired or feel defeated I think of my child (and others who have no advocates) and am reminded of what Im trying to do and why.

Wishing you all the very best OP.



Edited by Babybear, 20 August 2010 - 10:18 AM.


#10 mamfa

Posted 18 August 2010 - 02:32 PM

It worries me that although i would love ANY funding for the school to help support my son, i would hate to take it away from kids who are more 'qualified' and already fit within the budget.  but if the budget needs to stretch further and people are getting less each then this isn't a good outcome either.

Victoria has new criteria for next year so im going to apply under that one but i think the issue is money. Give us a bigger bucket to take it from and i'll be very happy.

#11 ~Lauren~

Posted 18 August 2010 - 05:29 PM

It looks like Alec is going to be deemed ineligble too. His expressive and receptive scores are low, but still within 'normal' range but his pragmatic language score is 3%.

We have a meeting at the school who applys for funding on our behalf next week to be told of the knock back, it also means he won't be eligble to attend Western Autistic School which is where we were palnning for him to start his schooling at.

Am so sad today  sad.gif

#12 Guest_witches2_*

Posted 18 August 2010 - 06:04 PM

QUOTE
Victoria has new criteria for next year so im going to apply under that one but i think the issue is money.

What's the new criteria going to be?

The funding system is woefully inadequate.

#13 Cymbeline

Posted 18 August 2010 - 08:11 PM

...

Edited by Cymbeline, 22 April 2014 - 03:37 PM.


#14 .Jerry.

Posted 18 August 2010 - 08:33 PM

Thanks for providing that report.  I work in education (and in providing support to students with disabilities) in a different state, but looks like lots of great reading  in that document.
Really the argument should be about appropriate programs, support and adjustments, not funding for individuals.  This focus fits in with Disability Standards too.



#15 Cymbeline

Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:08 PM

...

Edited by Cymbeline, 22 April 2014 - 03:38 PM.


#16 jofisk

Posted 19 August 2010 - 07:24 PM

QUOTE
My son has high functioning autism with some speech delay, but not enough to qualify for funding. I was told (here in WA) that the ed assistant is not there to support a child's learning, but for physcial support.


I am also in WA and DD1 has high functioning autism, ADHD and Language delays. She has qualified to get 0.5 aide time.  The aide is in her class to assistant with her learning and also assists the teacher with the other students.

I work at an education support centre, we have about 40 students and 15 aides, they all assist in the learning of children with ID and other disorder, none of the students have physcial disabilities.


#17 ELLY

Posted 19 August 2010 - 07:53 PM

Thanks all for your replies.  I am very interested in legal action so I will hunt around and see what is going on.  I am on the vic western suburbs - if anoyone can suggest a good private school that will support a high functioning 5yo can you please pm me.

Mamfa- What the is new vic funding for next year?  Ive compared the 2010 and 2011 guidelines and there isnt much difference for a high functioning child.

VICTORIA THE PLACE TO BE EXCEPT IF YOUR AUTISTIC

Edited by ELLY, 19 August 2010 - 07:54 PM.


#18 meljbau

Posted 19 August 2010 - 08:44 PM

I read on another board that in Victoria, Julie Philips,  an Anti-Discrimination Advocate, is organising a Class Action around education issues.

Her details are as follows:

Julie Phillips
Anti-Discrimination Advocate
PO Box 412
Fairfield VIC 3078
Ph/Fax: (03)9481-0999 or 96548644

I don't know of her, so am just providing the info. Hope it's useful for you.

#19 JosieJoJo2000

Posted 19 August 2010 - 09:19 PM

Thanks for the info, Fiona - I might have another look into it and see if there is a way we could get aide time.

I was probably using confusing terminology when I said "physical support", I was told that included not being able to easily self-feed or use the toilet, unable to follow directions and requiring physical guidance etc. The aide in that case assists with these matters and the learning, but I was told that because my son could, to a degree, "take care of himself" we didn't qualify. Sounds like that advice was incorrect, thanks for pointing that out original.gif

Jo

#20 TheGabster

Posted 20 August 2010 - 08:20 AM

QUOTE (~Lauren~ @ 18/08/2010, 05:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It looks like Alec is going to be deemed ineligble too. His expressive and receptive scores are low, but still within 'normal' range but his pragmatic language score is 3%.

We have a meeting at the school who applys for funding on our behalf next week to be told of the knock back, it also means he won't be eligble to attend Western Autistic School which is where we were palnning for him to start his schooling at.

Am so sad today  sad.gif


Hi,
Can I ask what school you are looking into?

Im in the Moonee Valley Area and my DS has high function autism with a few things having another child with a high IQ at a local public school and seeing her falling through the cracks scared me so I started looking at our local catholic school where we are parishoners. It was perfect. His Paed said its easier to get funding in catholic school. Than in PUBLIC SCHOOL. But they dont tell you this infact they tell you the opposite.

well even though we are parishoners in our local parish and even though we pay thanksgiving to our church we were denied (the principal wont speak to me). We dont know if its because of him, if its because we are not high income earners, if its because we are in category d for what you do for a job nothing.

I am literally at the point of not wanting to send him to school I am being forced by our intervention and his psyc to pick a school I dont want I dont want him to fall through the cracks.

at the catholic school I think even without funding I think he would have coped as they do heaps of extra stuff like music, LOTE, drama, sports carnivals, Everything our daughters school does not do which is really crap.

Im so angry its not fair. We never applied for other schools because we knew we would not get in because we were out side of their parishes.

#21 ~Lauren~

Posted 20 August 2010 - 09:23 AM

Western Autistic School is located in both Laverton and Niddrie. You have to apply through your local public school to get funding and tell them you intend to apply to start at Western Autistic.

The local school will organise everything that needs to be done and you will have to take any Speech, OT, Psych reports you have for your DS, and your diagnosis letter, into the local school for them to add to your application. They can't be more than 12 months old.

Someone used by the school to asess applications for funding will look over everything to check if your DS fits the Dept. of Educations 'criteria' to be eligible for funding. If he fits it, the application is then sent to the Dept. to be looked at and they have the final say if you can have the funding and what amount. If you do get it, the funding can then be used within a mainstream school for an aide etc, or you are eligible to apply to Western Austistic School for you DS to start there.

I hope that helps.

#22 Feral Nicety

Posted 20 August 2010 - 09:52 AM

QUOTE (TheGabster @ 20/08/2010, 08:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
well even though we are parishoners in our local parish and even though we pay thanksgiving to our church we were denied (the principal wont speak to me). We dont know if its because of him, if its because we are not high income earners, if its because we are in category d for what you do for a job nothing.

I am literally at the point of not wanting to send him to school I am being forced by our intervention and his psyc to pick a school I dont want I dont want him to fall through the cracks.



Ring the Special Ed person at the Catholic Education office and ask for help and support.  At the very least they can sort out why your son didn't get a place.

Intervention and your psych cannot force you to do anything.  They are there to work for and with you, not to impose force on you.  Is it realistic for you to homeschool for a year until you can sort out a placement at the Catholic school or another school whichis acceptable to you?

#23 LambChop

Posted 20 August 2010 - 10:10 AM

In Victoria, there is less funding for special needs for independent school than with state schools.

#24 Guest_witches2_*

Posted 20 August 2010 - 03:15 PM

QUOTE
I am literally at the point of not wanting to send him to school I am being forced by our intervention and his psyc to pick a school I dont want I dont want him to fall through the cracks.

If you don't want your child to go to school, don't allow anyone to bully you into it.  I did that with ds and prep - spectacular fail, one we're still paying for years later.  I hate feeling forced into a decision I know isn't really the best one.  Would repeating kinder be an option or homeschooling.  I wish I'd done one of those for ds for that year.  We were inelligeble for funding for prep.  Look at all options available, choose the one you feel is best for your ds and stick to that choice.

#25 ELLY

Posted 20 August 2010 - 04:53 PM

Thanks for Julies info.

Just another point if your child cant get funding at a mainstream school there is no way he will get into Western Autistic - they dont cater for Aspis or the like they have told me that themselves.




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