ACT: letter to Chief Minister -

Dear Mr Barr MLA & Ms Berry MLA

Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD) remains concerned that there has been no discernible progress in the ACT Education Directorate towards recognising the need for and employing properly trained and registered behavioural clinicians to support students with distressed behavior in ACT schools. 

We recognise that the Education Directorate is not alone; this is a national problem. There is no registration process for behavioural clinicians (and only a small number of training place have recently become available in Australia). The NDIS excludes internationally registered Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) from it's disability services price list (there are fewer than 100 BCBAs in the country and they are mostly engaged in "early intervention" rather than supporting school-age and older clients). This represents somewhat of a "chicken and egg" situation ... but governments need to eliminate barriers like this.

We are aware that there are numerous other students in the ACT who need professional behavioural support that they currently do not get.

When will you attempt to address the issue of students in the ACT with severely distressed behaviour (sometimes called unwanted or challenging behaviour, or behaviours of concern)?

Feel free to call me on 04xx xxx xxx if you want to discuss it.

--

Bob Buckley
Chair, Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD)
a voice for people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the ACT

email: chair@sofasd.org.au
website: sofasd.org.au


To: The Canberra Times <letters.editor@canberratimes.com.au>

Dear Editor

In relation to your article 'Like a jail sentence': ... (CT 17/8), surely the time has come for the ACT Government, especially its Education Directorate, to recognise its need to engage registered behavioural clinicians to meet the needs of students/children with severe distressed behaviour. The ED has taken no discernible action on this since the internationally infamous boy-in-a-cage fiasco several years ago. In Australia, psychologists are not trained as behavioural clinicians, so employing more of them does not address this issue; it's disingenuous to suggest it's relevant. The ED says after 3 years, that it's in the middle of reforms: those who need them will be gone from the ACT education system by the time they arrive. It's time to act.

--

Bob Buckley
Chair, Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD)
a voice for people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the ACT

email: chair@sofasd.org.au
website: sofasd.org.au