Last week’s damning revelations about the treatment of some students with a disability in Australia’s school system involved tales of seclusion, segregation and even abuse. While the disability royal commission heard of a few horrific stories only, there are doubtless many more examples of such treatment occurring across the country every day.
Education Review spoke to Andrew (not his real name), about his son’s experience of primary school. Despite being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and having some behavioural issues, Andrew’s son is a bright child who is now thriving at high school.
However, Andrew’s son’s primary school years were an awful experience, reminiscent of some of the evidence heard at the royal commission. Andrew says his son was effectively babysat most of the time, denied access to the curriculum, and generally treated as burden to the school.
More disturbingly, he was set upon by an older group of students, leaving him with black eyes, an incident he says the school failed to investigate. Suspensions were also frequent as was being left in a room with an iPad for entertainment.
Andrew’s son’s experience, like others in similar situations, took a heavy toll on the family.Do you have an idea for a story?
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