'Minimal progress': State sued for 'abandoning' autistic boy's education

The mother of a 17-year-old autistic boy has sued the state of Victoria over a government school’s alleged "abandonment" of her son’s education and failure to teach him the curriculum.

The case, which could have implications for thousands of families who believe their child has been excluded from learning due to a disability, is listed for a three-week hearing in the Federal Court next year.

The mother, whom The Age has chosen not to name, argues the school’s failure “to put intensive effort into his education” and instead fill her son's school days with “non-academic activities” has left him effectively illiterate, innumerate and unemployable.

'It was nasty': Children with disability bullied, belittled at school

Judith Ireland

A mother of five children with disabilities has told the disability abuse royal commission that one of her sons took a knife to school because he was so scared of bullies, while her daughter was belittled by a teacher for needing extra toilet breaks.

The woman told a hearing in Townsville on Tuesday that it was "absolutely exhausting and frustrating" trying to get schools to make changes so children with disability could be included.

Disability royal commission: girl with Asperger's hid in garbage bin to avoid bullying

First day of hearings told multiple instances of violence led to anxiety that affected 10-year-old’s walking and speech

A 10-year-old girl who lives with Asperger syndrome was hit over the head, pushed from a pier and began hiding in a garbage bin to avoid further bullying, the disability royal commission has been told.

congratulating the Castledines on their win against the NDIS at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

On Wednesday 16 October 2019, Jake Castledine, and his mother, Janice Castledine, received the news that they won their three-year-long battle with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Jake, who is in his late twenties and has multiple disabilities including intellectual disability and autism, needs funded support 24/7. He didn’t have enough funding in his package before the NDIS, and despite promises from both the state government and the NDIA that he would finally get what he needed, his first NDIS plan left him worse off. VALID’s advocacy team assisted with organising a plan review, but again, the NDIS denied almost all the supports Jake required. So, Jake’s family asked for legal help from Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service and Legal Aid Victoria to have his case heard at the AAT.

My Daughter and I Were Diagnosed With Autism on the Same Day

mother and daughter wearing summer clothes on a garden path

Autistic moms can face judgment while struggling with their own diagnosis and advocating for their children.

By Jen Malia

“You convinced yourself that you and our daughter have autism,” my husband yelled. “You did all this research and told the doctor what he needed to hear to diagnose you!”

“No, it wasn’t like that,” I said. “You know about all the testing we went through.”

“I can’t believe you brought her into this,” he said. “You’re like those mothers who make up medical problems about their kids. Why can’t you just let her be a kid?”

500 children forfeited to state in NDIS standoff

New figures reveal the human toll of a five-year NDIS funding fight, with hundreds of families pushed to relinquish their children into state care.

By Rick Morton.

For the past five years, the National Disability Insurance Agency has squabbled with state governments over who pays to support children with a profound disability. In that time, hundreds of families have been pushed to the brink. The care they were promised never came.

Ask An Expert: The Balancing Act of Supported Decision Making

What’s the deal with decision making?

Such a great question! The right to make your own decisions. It doesn’t get more fundamental than that when considering what makes us human. Questioning a person’s capacity to make decisions is one of the gravest insults one can make, yet in disability it can be thought of like an item on a grocery list. The assumption that people with disability have the right to make their own decisions, and should be given every support to do so, is a transgressive idea in our society. And as with any rights based social change, implementation can get a little tricky.

Talking About Autism

Why language matters.

Erin Bulluss, Ph.D., and Abby Witts

Language is a powerful tool; it can be used to describe the plain, the profound, and the profane. With language, we make choices not only about what we say, but how we say it. Surely we can all recall a time when we were hurt or buoyed by something said to or about us, not because of the statement itself but, rather, how it was framed.

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