Child reportedly contained in cage-like structure at ACT primary school

A school that placed a child with special needs and behavioural issues in a cage-like withdrawal space told parents it had intended it to be a "sanctuary". 

ACT Education has suspended a principal and launched an investigation into how a primary school student was placed in the purpose built two-by-two-metres structure made of metal pool fencing.

It is understood the structure within the classroom was built specifically for the student, believed to be a 10-year-old boy with autism, on March 10. It was dismantled on March 27, the day after the directorate became aware of it.

NDIS transition cuts Early Intervention for young children with autism in the ACT

The Commonwealth and ACT governments are rolling out the NDIS in the ACT. The transition process puts young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among the first NDIS participants and disrupts (cuts) a range of existing ACT Government services including:

NDIS planning for adults with severe autism/ASD in the ACT

In this video Bob Buckley describes his recent experiences with National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) planning. His advice tries to help others prepare for their transition to the NDIS. He suggests that people can reduce their stress over NDIS planning if they better understand the processes and likely outcomes.

Bob Buckley's son (who is 23yo with severe autism) has one of the earlier NDIS plans approved in the ACT. The process took 11 days and delivered substantially more support/resources than was previously provided. The plan is much more flexible than the previous arrangement.

ACT Government report on autism spectrum disorder and the NDIS

In May 2013, Ms Burch MLA, ACT Minister for Disability, tabled a report entitled "Report on support provided for autism diagnosis and services and the potential for further reforms resulting from the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the National Plan for School Improvement". Normally reports like this are made publicly available. Since SOfASD could not find a copy of the report on any ACT Government website, we requested a copy of the report from the Minister. After 11 months and several further requests, the Minister gave us an electronic copy of the report.

NDIS workshop: for and by people affected by autism spectrum disorder

SOfASD (Chair, Bob Buckley) is holding a free NDIS workshop in the MacArthur Room in the Ainslie Football Club on the 14th April at 7.30pm. You are all welcome to attend.

Date/Time: 7:30pm 14th April 2014
Location: MacArthur Room, Ainslie Football Club

The purpose of the workshop is to help people affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to understand and prepare for the coming National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in the ACT. The NDIS will start in the ACT in July 2014. It will be the main vehicle for disability services and support for the foreseeable future.

Letter to ACT Minister for Disability, Ms Burch MLA

Dear Ms Burch MLA

Following the recent NDIS cover in the media, there are several issues I would like to talk about with you as the Minister responsible for the coming NDIS in the ACT. I am generally supportive of the coming NDIS but I have serious concerns about the roll out. In particular, I am concerned that the transition to the NDIS may not be well planned and that several crucial services that affect people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have or will fall through the cracks.

Family's battle with bureaucracy over school transport for autistic son finally over

A Queanbeyan mother is grateful her autistic son has been allowed bus travel to school after a four-year battle with the NSW Education Department but infuriated it took going to the media to get a result. Janet Smith told her story to The Canberra Times earlier this month out of desperation when she was knocked back four times by the department after years of battling the bureaucracy. Mrs Smith and her husband Nick have two profoundly autistic sons, both of whom attend the Malkara School, across the border in Canberra.

Autism - early intervention - a matter of public importance

from 17/9/2013

Autism—early intervention programs

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Doszpot): Madam Speaker has received letters from Ms Berry, Dr Bourke, myself, Mr Gentleman, Mr Hanson, Ms Lawder, Ms Porter, Mr Smyth and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Madam Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Ms Lawder be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of providing intensive early intervention programs for children with autism in the ACT.


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