Education - Does One Size Fit All?

The Autism Spectrum is a complex and intricate neurobiological condition, which while having a common set of characteristic traits, presents very differently in each individual.  It is a spectrum condition ranging from classic Autism to Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autism.

I believe that in Australia we are almost at the point where we are about to be forced to provide ASD Specific education, as in the UK. We are seeing children suspended, expelled or excluded from school for a good part of every day because teachers, Administration staff and schools in general don't have the skills or manpower to cater for those students with high needs. I know many families whose children are only in school for 1 or 2 hours a day because schools do not know how to deal with them, or have the personnel to spare to cater to their specific needs.

Every child deserves an education, and in fact parents are fined and prosecuted for not enforcing sending their children to school, but it seems that schools can send children home at any time for displaying behaviours directly related to their diagnosed condition, and not feel obligated to educate those outside the prevalent "norms". This seems a little paradoxical to me.

Depending on each child's unique profile of Aspergers Syndrome I believe there are many children who would benefit, thrive and excel academically within an environment that specifically catered to their needs, focusing on their strengths, minimizing their weaknesses and teaching them to self-moderate their emotions and behaviour.

With the almost epidemic statistics (1 in 88) Australia and the rest of the world need to embrace the positive aspects of AS and nurture the skills and talents of those with high needs in an exclusive and specific environment.

Just my view…..

Nelle Frances 20-Sep-2013 4 Comments
Comments
Selena commented on 20-Sep-2013 12:45 PM3 out of 5 stars
I personally have very little faith or respect for the Australian education system for it is backward and sub standard, it has been for a very long time now.

I have witnessed many a child getting lost in the system, I was one of those children who got lost in system simply because of poorly trained and in some cases purely incompetent teachers.

In order for children with ASD or otherwise to be properly educated in a way that will benefit them we would have to start with the universities and vocational colleges who train these teachers and trainers and give them the proper training and skills to deal with the variety of differences we have in society which are not limited to just ASD.

Does one size fit all in terms of education and/or training?! As I've said on Facebook the answer is simply NO!
Anonymous commented on 20-Sep-2013 01:02 PM5 out of 5 stars
This is exactly where my head is at the moment. My 5 year old sensory seeker with ASD recently suspended for aggressive behaviour related to sensory overload and social skills deficits. Wondering how and if he can succeed educationally and socially in a main stream environment.
Adelle Collins commented on 16-Oct-2013 11:15 AM5 out of 5 stars
Hi Nelle

This was just what I needed to read! This week has been especially hard as they called a crisis meeting at school saying they can no longer cope with my son as he is taking up to many resources and taking away from other children with special needs. There also seems to be a lot of confusion of inappropriate behaviour and their interpretation as to how and why it happens. A no swearing policy is fabulous for all children however if you have a child with a disability who swears when he has a melt down, should he be sent home like the NT's. This has been happening to me every day just like you describe in your write up. I'm tired and distressed from the nonsense ! either you (school) can cope have the rescources to cope with him and educate him or you don't and you refer him to a special school.

I'm sick of all the short falls and the fact that during all this mum sons doesn't get an education he deserves because there is only one Autism school over an hour away that is full to the brim and costs more than I can afford.

The government need to realise early intervention is not a cure merely assistance during this age. What is there for the 7-18 year olds?

Love your work
Frustrated Mum
Adelle
Nelle Frances commented on 22-Oct-2013 03:15 PM3 out of 5 stars
Sorry to have missed your comment Adelle - I only just realised how to make them "visible". I agree wholeheartedly that early intervention is to HELP the child not cure them overnight, and schools seem to be missing that point. Helping our kids is about long-term commitment - what we're hoping to achieve is them having the skills to live independently of us, have a relationship and a job by the time they're 25 - 30.... so it's about small steps & hard work. Nelle
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