Bipartisan support in ACT Assembly for misinformation about autism prevalence

The ACT Government passed a motion about "autism" ...

That this Assembly:

(1)      notes:

           (a)     that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects around one in 160 children, with boys four times more likely to be affected than girls;

           (b)     the importance of early diagnoses, early intervention therapy and support for ASD;

ACT Government releases report in response to 'boy in cage' incident

The ACT Government has released a 275-page report into the way children with "complex needs and challenging behaviours" can be accommodated in Canberra's school system.

The Schools for all Children and Young People report was released in response to an incident in April where a 10-year-old boy with autism was placed in a cage at a Canberra primary school described as a withdrawal space.

letter: motion of no confidence in Minister and ACT Government

Ministers Andrew Barr MLA and Joy Burch MLA
ACT Legislative Assembly

Dear Chief Minister and Minister,

This letter is to inform you that the Committee of Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD) in the ACT passed a motion of no confidence on 17/9/2015 in:

  • the ACT Minister for Education and for Disability, and

  • the ACT Government

over events relating to the recent boy-in-the-cage “incident”.

Burch promises the ‘kid in a cage’ case was an isolated incident

Editor: the lack of professional/qualified behaviour support for students with autism/ASD in ACT schools in not an "isolated incident", it's a well established long term policy of this Education and Disability Minister.

JOY Burch and Director-General of the Education and Training Directorate Diane Joseph have released the key findings from an independent investigation into the construction of an “inappropriate structure” at an ACT Public School.

“Through all of this, my key concern has been the welfare of the child and the family involved,” Joy said.

“I am very disappointed by the things found through this investigation.

“It is completely unacceptable that a decision was taken to build this type of structure to respond to the behaviour of a student. This decision was wrong, and the officer responsible will no longer be a school principal or be working within a school. School principals must be held responsible for their actions.

SOfASD Submission to Expert Panel on ACT's caged student

SOfASD made a submission to the ACT's Expert Panel on Students with Complex Needs and Challenging Behaviour.

SOfASD's submission has the following conclusions.

We expect a whitewash from the Expert Panel. Given its composition, it seems unlikely that there will be the adverse finding that are needed to drive improvement. But if there are adverse findings, the ACT Government will sweep them under the carpet as soon as it believes it can get away with it.

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Challenging behaviour in schools under the microscope after boy-in-cage affair

, Chief Assembly reporter for The Canberra Times.

In the wake of the boy-in-a-cage affair, ACT Education Minister Joy Burch has announced a wide review of how schools deal with children with challenging behaviour, from violence to classroom disruption.

The review will also look at students "complex needs" and at the use of "exclusionary withdrawal".


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