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Australia Returns to Penal Colony Roots: For Kids with Autism

Child catcherFrom the "Make them, break them and forsake them" files...  We'll be seeing this in America soon. Districts collapsing under the costs and training required to service the autism population. Adult programs wholly unprepared for the behaviors of autism. Employers unsure of how to manage Asperger's and HFA in the workforce. The world will NOT bend like a blade of grass to autism.

By Anne Dachel

There is an important story from Australia about how Senator Pauline Hanson spoke out in Parliament calling for the removal of some children with autism from regular education classrooms. All the major papers in Australia and Britain have the story. The BBC also mentioned that "in March, Ms Hanson made comments advocating the discredited theory which links vaccines with autism. She later apologised only for suggesting that parents subject their children to a non-existent test for vaccine allergies."

Hanson said she'd been approached by parents and teachers about the problem of having teachers' attention focused on the needs of autistic students in the classroom; she pointed to falling educational standards in Australian schools.

"I think that we have more autistic children, and yet we are not providing the special classrooms or the schools for these autistic children. ...We have to consider the impact that is having on other children in that classroom.  ....Other kids in other countries who are going ahead leaps and bounds ahead of us, and unless we keep up a decent educational standard in this country, we will keep going further backwards and backwards.  ...."

Hanson came under immediate attack for her "segregationist" remarks. Seen the stories below.

This is more evidence that worldwide, autism will never be seen as a problem, no matter what the cost or how bad the numbers Years of April Autism Awareness blue lights have taught us that we just need to accept autism as part of the human condition. We should accommodate those affected and pretend that it's always been like this. 

And keep in mind that, much like the U.S., autism isn't seen as a problem in Australia. Look at the piece from March 2017 entitled, "Why a 42 per cent increase in autism diagnoses is no cause for alarm."

Here's coverage from the last two days. Not one news source said a word about the dramatic increase in the number of affected kids in Australia's schools.

Also see my two attachments about stories from the last two months, SPECIAL ED COSTS and  Special ed stories  on the dramatic increase in special education students and cost in America. Not one news source asked why we have more and more of these students in this country. More evidence of how we've quietly surrendered to the loss of healthy children. No one dares to suggest that something is wrong.

June 23, Australia, The Western Advocate: Children with autism are 'holding our kids back': Senator Pauline Hanson 

Senator Hanson told the Senate on Wednesday that she was supporting the federal government's Gonski 2.0 school funding plan because she feared education standards were plummeting, citing poor maths results and the Safe Schools program.

But it was comments she made about students with autism that has enraged the disability sector and ignited Twitter. …

"We can't afford to hold our kids back: we have the rest of the world and other kids in other countries who are going ahead [in] leaps and bounds ahead of us," Senator Hanson said.

June 22, 2017, BBC News: Australian politician criticised for remarks about autism

Controversial Australian politician Pauline Hanson is facing calls to apologise for suggesting students with autism be removed from classrooms.

Her comments were widely criticised by government MPs, the opposition and disability rights advocates.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is close to passing A$23.5b (£14b; $18b) in extra funding to Australian schools.

But to pass legislation he will rely on the support of Ms Hanson, who leads the anti-immigration One Nation party.

"These kids have a right to an education, by all means, but, if there are a number of them, these children should go into a special classroom and be looked after and given that special attention," Ms Hanson said on Wednesday night. …

In March, Ms Hanson made comments advocating the discredited theory which links vaccines with autism. She later apologised only for suggesting that parents subject their children to a non-existent test for vaccine allergies.

Why a 42 per cent increase in autism diagnoses is no cause for alarm

VIDEO: June 22, 2017, Sydney Morning News: Pauline Hanson's autism comments come up against war of silence 

It arose after the awkwardly spoken leader of Pauline Hanson's One Nation party suggested children with the disorder might be taught separately from other children – so as to not hold the main group back.

Hanson's comments on Wednesday caused offence among some professionals and, most particularly, parents of autism-affected children.

June 22, 2017 Collie Mail (Aus.) : I will not back down - Pauline Hanson remains defiant on autism segregation  

Notice on the video: “I think we have more autistic children, and yet we are not providing the special classrooms or the schools for these autistic children…”

Education Minister Simon Birmingham has repeatedly refused to condemn Pauline Hanson's comments students with disabilities should be segregated from mainstream classrooms, while the One Nation leader remained defiant against calls for an apology.

With the Gonski deal hanging in the balance, Senator Birmingham refused to renounce or even mention Senator Hanson's name, when questioned on the issue during question time on Thursday.

And Senator Hanson would not be cowed, facing down repeated calls for her to apologise, while maintaining she was right, blaming political opponents and the media for the backlash, saying she had been taken out of context.

She continued to speak about segregation as the best answer for both children with disabilities and other students, while denying she had advocated segregation. 

June 22, 2017, The New Daily (Aus.): ‘What have I said that’s offensive?’: Pauline Hanson won’t apologise to autistic students"

Despite her speech drawing widespread condemnation from disability advocates and education experts, Senator Hanson said teachers and parents had contacted her to say thank you.

“We have to debate these issues. There is a problem in our society. Parents know it, teachers know it,” she said.

“But if you raise anything in this country that is considered taboo by just a few of those on the left, we are not going to find the answers that we need.”

June 22, 2017, UK Daily Mail: Waleed Aly takes aim at Pauline Hanson over her calls for autistic children to be taken out of mainstream classrooms - after his son was diagnosed with the condition

Aly said there were more effective solutions than separating autistic children such as aides.

'There's an easy way around this. The underlying thing — and this goes for what Pauline Hanson's talking about as well — there are very easy fixes for a lot of these sorts of things,' he said.

June 21, 2017, Eureka Street (Australia): Hanson's autism comments miss the value of diversity

The mood was subdued at the gates of our small Catholic primary school at 3:30 pm on Wednesday. Ten per cent of our school's students have an autism diagnosis, and for their parents who had read Pauline Hanson's comments to the Senate that afternoon, those familiar feelings — dismay at the ignorance and lack of empathy of some people, worry for the future, and defiant pride in their diverse children — had been activated yet again.

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.



Leah; I like you too. LOL, What ever; I am just kidding - I do really like you!

Aimee; Now that promise was made by Conway, so you can take it to the bank. Maybe. That is if it was just up to the president, and not up to those folks in Maryland's state capitol; some where.

Jeannette Bishop; Local community care solutions around here would be that big glass jar, with a money slot lid, complete with a picture of the unfortunate, medical, money strapped, victim on it ; Sometimes the victim is pictured with a breathing tube. The Large jar, picture, and all is then place on the check out counter of the local Dollar Store.

What I want to know, I need to try to understand is how does a bunch of Congressmen all with Cheshire cat smiles; of we won that big election, we wiped those Republicans off the map grins; then go behind close doors for a few weeks, emerge all a glow;and claiming that 100,000 page health care bill is just going to please us all, to death! We are just going to love it when we all find out what is in their bill; they said.

And they are not one bit ashamed; even after the jig is up?

I admit it took me 6 years of trying and thinking, Oh it is me- I just am not trying hard enough or something.

Oh wait a minute; Let me see; The last time I had faith in man kind's abilities to do anything; I ended up with vaccine injured kids and the baby doctors with out one bit of shame telling me it ain't because of the vaccines.

I just do not understand the no shame part? Help me?

I don't think there is a fix for this Book of Revelation's beast that roams the land devouring all - this Medical establishment.

You all think that the Republicans are going to come up with something? A fix against this beast - this long and well established medical field? All these folks that knows no shame?

Nah, cause Rand Paul is gong to vote against it any how.

Grace Green

Jeannette Bishop, what you say makes perfect sense, and I've observed that the same is probably true of the UK system ( the NHS) as well. But they're trying to hold back the tide. Good luck to them!

Jeannette Bishop

I feel the need to chime in that the "Affordable Care Act" (the Supreme Court ruled some time back that the title of the bill is not binding and legislation does not have to live up to its title) from what I hear was an attempt to keep a bankrupt system going a little longer for the greatest benefit of the most well off (that would be big pharma and big insurance) with aims to get everyone locked in to paying as much as possible for high drug costs (IMO much due to the costs of vaccination and further from what I hear, maybe subsidizing the socialized medicine of some other countries) and bureaucratic overhead before they begin to ration the healthcare (with vaccine mandates and "right to die" legislation indicating to me the top priorities of this new system) from a bankrupt government with overextended promises on social security obligations and other social safety nets.

The mainstream media hasn't been talking about this, about how dire our financial situation is (I know that's not a strong piece of evidence to confirm this for most, but as with vaccine injury media coverage, Fukushima radiation environmental & health harm coverage, etc. people are talking about this over the net), and I most strongly suspect it is the case that we need to look to setting up our own within our local community care solutions to the greatest extent possible.


Hi Benedetta, I am chuckling a bit as I read your post-I like you! And I am sorry, very sorry, that you have had such a hard time. Plus it is a medical cartel. I guess we just disagree about how to fix it. Somebody eventually has to try to actually help the citizens of this country and this bill ain't it, to my mind. I feel it is throwing vulnerable people under the bus--even the President called it mean.


I just remembered too; that at the beginning of all of this, before Affordable Care Act; I was able to get Anthem individual coverage, by three or four years before.

My son did have a pre condition that Anthem would not cover; epilepsy, but they did give us a reasonable rate of 150 or was it 145 a month. Something around that price. Even though he had a pre condition.
That meant that they would not cover any medical health issue that was caused by his epilepsy.
That meant that when I went to a specialist for epilepsy they would not help me with the co pay. I think for the regular doctor they would pay all but 30 dollars. At least at that time. By the time I said good bye to them: they would not pay one red cent unless I was out of pocket for 5,000 dollars, first. .
I kept paying more and more and it just kept getting worse and worse. So all doctors were no longer costing me just 30 dollars, but thier full price which was 160 was the usually going rate. 190 for the neurologist by the way.

The medicines though; I used their mail order pharmacy and as the year rolled on down to autumn, the prices of the medicine would go down until the year rolled over and we started all over again.

I think that the agreement between Anthem and I; before Obama Care even kicked in ; was after he had been on the plan for a number of years then the precondition was no longer considered a precondition and they would pay if anything happened; after I paid out 5,000 dollars first.

It is not that I really care cause I don't mind paying out of pocket. Those big lab test if not dangerous, are useless so we seldom bother, and we don't go much to the doctors.
It is just that I hate that they might pick me up off the side of the road, air lift me to some hospital and I might be unlucky enough to wake up and find I am: with out a pot to pee in, don't have two red cents to rub together, have to sell the roof over my head to pay off the medical cartel, and my life might cost my family their home.

The same for my son. How can I help him if an accident cost us everything?

These are the kinds of worries that started this whole Obama Care/ Affordable Care Act.
Did we not see injured people and their families struggling to pay off medical bills, having to host pot luck/fish fry suppers in order to collect donations to pay off medical bills?

Well guess what; they are still doing it around here.

Aimee Doyle

@ Benedetta

You suggested I check out the YouTube link and believe in the promise of my son being grandfathered in. Not sure I put a lot of faith in a YouTube promise. When the money stops flowing, it stops flowing, regardless of promises. Even here in deep blue Maryland, we have thousands of people with disabilities on the waiting list for services from DDA (Developmental Disabilities Administration). And that's with funding at the current levels. Bottom line is that it just costs a lot to provide services for those with disabilities. And with a 1 in 68 (or higher) autism rate, the problem will get worse, not better.

You're certainly right that Obamacare needed fixes. I know you and your family have had it rough - we've both followed the AoA blog for years. But I don't think the current legislation will fix the problems with Obamacare - and it has quite a few problems of its own. I don't see that it will fix things for you - although I could be wrong.


I am not so mad Leah, Scared beyond reason is what I am.
I needed that money I gave to Anthem..
You asked if I remember when I could not get anything because of pre existing conditions. No, because I could through my state, but it would cost me about 800 dollars a month way back before Obama Care. I was priced out then, and priced out now? Nothing changed. Does that make me closed minded?

The nursing home stuff, rural hospital stuff is fear mongering.


@ Benedetta You sound furious so whatever. Let's just shoot ourselves in the foot then. Remember not getting health insurance due to preexisting conditions? Yeah, the aca (obamacare) fixed that for one. I could go on but if your mind is so closed what is the point. Give away your rights, but it can get worse. No money to keep nursing homes, group homes, or rural hospitals open., etc. etc. etc. . And I don't think the most vulnerable citizens should be the first to make sacrifices. They already have lost enough.
By the way in Europe and every other developed country healthcare is a given. So maybe we are not always right as a nation. Or anyway no other civilized country seems to agree with us here.


Medicaid depends on state by state choices.
Affordable Care Act from what I discovered is a duplication of Medicaid. The poor are well covered. The working poor are not.
This is fear mongering There is nothing to lose and I have decided there is nothing to gain either. We are on our own, just like we were for education, getting help with the seizures, getting employment, but there is plenty of pitfalls out there just waiting to gobble up everything it has taken a life time to gain I just a few gobbles.

By the way the job my son had, he sat for 10 hours a day; seven days a week. HE would come home and not do any of the chores, but would grab his video games and sit some more. He got a belly on him and as far as I am concerned the job was going to kill him.

The next job I was able to get him was a seasonal job helping costumers at Southern States farm supply. Their busy season is in the spring and the job ended on the first day of summer. They said the liked him very much. They said they would give him a very good job recommendation for his next job, they said they would call him next spring to see if he is available.

This is again a job with no insurance. If you think this is just my son because he has a disabled think again.
My Father has Parkinson and he has had a slew of people coming in through their home this past year. Many work for medical supply places that brings beds, lifts, installing pull ups, installing wheel chair lifts on the back of the van, installing ramps, plumbing, tiling. Many are are ashamed that they do not have health insurance, and it is hard to get it out of them, but I manage. None have health insurance.

Do you all hear this? Now you tell me who did Affordable Health Care Act Help?
I am all ears. I wonder if I missed something, if I was too stupid to figure it out and get health insurance with out giving all our money toward this bottomless pit project?


I think it was important to be active when California tried and ultimately passed its mandatory vaccine law. In the same way I do not think it is wise to be silent as the senate tries to gut healthcare. Why hasn't there been any articles about something so affecting kids and adults with disabilities. Sure as someone just wrote we pay too much for healthcare but why should the disabled disproportionately be penalized so that the senate can have "a win." Do you want your family to pay for their win?
Or wait for the states to act--hey I have a bridge to sell you.
I noticed that these senators who are so eager to sell off healthcare are not willing to give up their own families' insurance and sign on to their better option, "the win". They know what it is.
If you call your senators this week and tell them to vote no on the bill, you may have an impact. If you do nothing, then don't complain later. Having no voice never works and is the route to no power in the future. This is the time to speak up. Otherwise tell your kids, well there is no day program but at least the top two percent got a tax break. Maybe it will trickle down. Doesn't that make you feel better?


Not just Australia! We're having same problem in Ontario, Canada. Notice the references to Special Education, and more calls for TAs.


As far as education goes and this I know is what this post was all about.
History and science are the only two subjects that children with learning disabilities are integrated into, so they get some social interactions and get to know a few more students in the class room. That is middle and high school. That is how it was in two different states - from my personal observations.
Everyone always warned 20 -30 years back to not allow your child with autism into behavioral problem class rooms.

I second that. No need in letting them pick up bad habits and attitudes from more troubled students than they already have.

Grade school All the grade schools I noticed that unless the kids are very severe then they are integrated into the regular classroom at least from kindergarten to the third if not the fourth or even fifth grade. All individual when special ed takes them in.

My son had problems from the start but he did not enter special ed until the fifth grade. I think that if I had not been one of those pushy, nosy parents he might have well who knows, the seizures all became so much worse.

What I do know is that school was a time waster when it came to learning. He went to school during the day and when he came home in the evenings, weekends, and all those long wonderful summers was his real time for me to catch him up.

My mother and I- even my husband were school teachers, and it was us that taught him to speak, read, math, even chemistry.
School just makes it harder, since they come home tired. I am all for long summer vacations.
That was my experience.


My daughter is now -- not - not.
And am I fed up - yes.
Time to reduce health care cost.
Don't ya think?


Aimee Doyle:

I am unsure of everything of what Congress will do or not do.
I do know that the states is the ones that supply, pay for, and decide who gets medicaid.
We were never able to get medicaid for my son. Sigh.
We got vocational rehab. though. Thank God ------- HAAAAHAAAAHAAAAA HAAAAAA. Joking aside that is a big nothing. I am the one that has looked for jobs all the time for him and it is me that has got all of his jobs so far. He is extremely anxious and job trading and new jobs are -- horrible.

Below is an U tube interview. There is a promise of you being grandfathered in. I don't want no one to be scared of losing anything. .

By the way; My son lost his job because he took the company's health insurance. Before that, they worked him 7 days a week, 10 hours a day; with out a complaint about him. When he finally chose to take their health insurance, he had it a month when at the end of the month they let him go cause they said he did not meet his quota.

There is no way to know if you meet your quota or not on this job of going through old medical records and getting them ready to digitizing them. My son worked 2 years for another company doing the same thing and never missed his quota. This old company though shut down, left and laid him off.
This new company he worked for this company 8 months and no mention of quotas. He got lots of overtime. Strange that everyone at his work place were very animate that he not take the company's health insurance. OF course they just told him not toooooo because it was tooooo expensive; when the company's health insurance was five dollars cheaper than his individual. I am unsure that the company's health insurance was a 5,000 dollar deductible though, like his individual.
On his individual insurance; after our encounter with his neurologist, an over night EEG , so he could/might possibly get off of the medicines - only for the doctor not to return our calls on getting off the seizure medicine and leaving us with 10,000 in which the individual health insurance and hospital and doctor negotiated down to guess what-- guess -- 5,000 dollars that we had to pay for.

Fast forward today. We quit the neurologist. The ramifications of that is that our local doctor too blood test for the medicine and found it was low. So, he wants to go with medical protocols and are insisting that we increase my son's medication dose.

So we paid out 5,000 dollars to get him off meds, but the way it all turned out we are going to get to increase the medicines, unless I go through hell, trouble and time that I do not have to not increase his medicine.

Meanwhile; I am worse off than than I was before Affordable Care Act. Unless these reductions do cut money for substance abuse, since my daughter is not working in that field. Then I would have her again to pay for her health insurance like I had to do for three long - sucking my income years. For some reason even with no job, no income, nothing in the bank she did not qualify for the Affordable Care Act.

Maybe it is just our state.
Anyway grandfathered in link below.


@cia parker

Terrific informative comment!!

Angus Files

Hi Jenny,
In my opinion its a system that takes advantage of the goodwill and good nature of the support staff as the financial remuneration is palpable.The councils are in charge of the budgets and politics come into play a lot, which really is annoying to say the least.We never had our son in mainstream and to put `dis` in front of everything he is would be accurate and least of all disabled which he isn't physically.I cant see how its possible to include children like my son in mainstream with other kids trying to sit once in a lifetime exams.Children like mine will be totally dependent on others from the time he had his MMR vaccine until his grave.
God bless the teachers who support these kids I too have nothing but praise for everyone well nearly everyone of them.

Pharma for Prison


Jenny Allan

@ Angus Files "The mainstream secondary school had a `special unit` for Autism- learning difficulties as they prefer to call it"

My Grandson's secondary school, also in Scotland, has a 'learning support base', staffed by teachers, with an extra 'special needs' qualification and specially trained support staff. I can't praise them enough. These bases are for high functioning youngsters, able to cope with mainstream education. These teachers come into the mainstream classes to support the special needs children and offer support for the whole class. Before I retired, I worked in a few of these bases as a supply teacher and saw at first hand how well the system worked. Even better, supporting the whole class meant the special needs pupils got all the support they needed, but did not 'stand out' as different from the rest of the class. The bases were also welcoming areas offering all day sanctuary to pupils who wanted some quiet 'time out'. A cup of tea or coffee was always available.

Of course, all this needs extra money and in Scotland, as in London, the sheer numbers of autistic children are swamping the system. Supply teachers have been cut, and teachers are often struggling to cope alone with the demands of several special needs children in their mainstream classes. The inevitable result is a drastic decline in pupil attainment in all areas. Government cuts and short sighted policies on teacher training and recruitment, has resulted in a dire shortage of teachers, particularly in key subjects like English, maths and science. Many newly qualified teachers are going abroad, to countries with better salaries and conditions. Those who stay are demoralised and burnt out.

Sooner or later, there will be a 'meltdown' in education and the NHS, unless something is done and soon about the REAL environmental causes of this autism epidemic, instead of ignoring the problem, or making out it is 'genetic', aided and abetted by a pharma sponsored press and media.
I fear for the future.

Aimee Doyle


I've called and emailed my senators - Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen. Both are opposed to this legislation, but that's not surprising, given that they are both Democrats and Maryland is a fairly blue state.

But what we need are people who can reach across the aisle - I don't know how to influence Republican senators - but they must know friends, family (and certainly constituents) who are adversely affected by these Medicaid cuts.

Angus Files

My son has never been in a NT classroom it would have been irresponsible to try and include him in it especially in his younger years and not much change in his final years.
In the mainstream local High School 33% of the pupils have one to one classroom assistants to help with all the learning problems (I think its more sadly).The mainstream secondary school had a `special unit` for Autism- learning difficulties as they prefer to call it -eh! much easier writing Autism than specifying all his difficulties with learning!but thats just us.

And fine people we know, with a similar child to ours it didn't matter what his function was they just wanted him going to a mainstream school with a mainstream school badge on his blaser rather than the `Special School` that my son attended to in his Primary years.

As the saying goes “If you've met one child with autism, you've met one child with autism.And the same must be said about the parents also.

Pharma for Prison



@Aimee. I too am very scared when I hear about these draconian cuts to Medicaid. I have three family members who could be affected. I think the time to act is now not to wait and see. Factually, 60 percent of kids with disabilities benefit from Medicaid. Plus 40 percent of disabled adults. This is not fair. Two family members are on the spectrum and one is older but has cancer. He can't afford higher premiums because of his age, 54, -but is too young for Medicare and working full time. It is pretty nasty to target people who can barely make go of it as it is. I urge you to call your senators. This could clobber a lot of kids on the spectrum as well as others.


Sometimes a free and appropriate education means not being in a mainstream classroom.

Just like there are not yet enough socialization, recreation/camps tailored to autism needs - which autism caretakers discuss frequently, schools are in the same predicament.

Because many families don't have enough financial resources for specially tailored education, often necessitating one on one instruction, they enroll their children in school because they have no other choice. And it's a tragic situation. And there is no denying that having a few hours separated from their child can often provide much needed respite for the parent of a child with autism, allowing them to maybe cope better in the late afternoon and with often long nighttime challenges.

Caretakers have done nothing if not shown us that when you take your eyes off your child even for a moment, tragedy can strike. How many drownings, wonderings, injuries, etc have happened even in the bosum of a loving family occasion without 15 or 18 additional neurotypical kids also needing attention.

Expecting a mainstream teacher to take on 2 children with autism, plus another 18-20 other children who are being sent to learn also, as if it won't affect how much learning or how complex the learning is for the neurotypical kids in the classroom, is just not realistic. It may be unfair for a teacher to be expected to be more capable than a parent or specialized instructor in a small specialized classroom. They aren't magic or superhuman.

So, to be fair about the situation, it is unfair that 2-10% of children don't get the education they need and deserve because they are seriously ill, and it is unfair for the other 90-98% of children don't get the education they need and deserve despite being healthy.

Censoring talk about it will not improve the situation. Increasing school budgets would definately help the "providing appropriate education opportunities" for those in need by providing teachers specialized in teaching those with autism and tailored classroom spaces. I don't think that Senator should apologize for broaching the subject of separate classrooms for children with autism, though clarification should be made distinguishing between segregation and discrimination. It would be discrimination if no appropriate education for math, science, english, history etc were provided at all. I don't think it's discrimination in a negative way to acknowlege that different learning requirements are different in different people, just like all children should not be forced into a one size fits all vaccination campaign.

Aimee Doyle

Re: Inclusion - I think there are real benefits to inclusion - done right - it's the best of all possible worlds. But it's hard - and quite expensive to do it right - to provide the supports to teachers and students that make it work. And, as others have said, it's complicated. There are probably students for whom it's not appropriate. I do worry that the process of separation (and invisibility) that begins with special education never really ends...and so we rarely see the most disabled kids - and never see disabled adults. Invisibility leads to the greater society not caring, which can lead to tragic consequences for individuals with disabilities - individually and as a group.

@Leah - I agree with you. I am petrified of the cuts to Medicaid. My adult son's day program, his supports and services, his healthcare and medication are all paid for through the federal/state Medicaid program. He will lose everything if these cuts go through - as will thousands of others with disabilities.

I don't think the block grants to the states will work. Here's why. Here in Maryland, even with the federal/state partnership, there are thousands of people on the waiting list for services from the state's Developmental Disabilities Administration. With the number of students with autism transitioning out of school each year, the problem will only get worse. And if this legislation passes, there will be far less money to provide support to those who need it.

Anne McElroy Dachel

Parents and experts in Australia are backing the idea of separating severely disabled kids in school. A blanket call for inclusion is not fair to teachers, to the regular ed students, and especially to the special needs children who are not getting the help they need to function well in school.

Here is current coverage by the press in Australia that reveals a growing special needs/autism crisis in their schools.

June 24, 2017, The Australian: A debate does not lend itself to absolutes

June 23, 2017, (Australia) Daily Telegraph: Arguing about whether students with autism need separate schools is highlighting a volatile education issue

“PRINCIPALS say their staff are being injured at “alarming rates” in the state’s schools and they are struggling to keep teachers and vulnerable students safe. …
“Many teachers working at the toughest coalface in public education — with children of high needs or extreme behaviours — are ‘overwhelmed and physically exhausted’ due to the lack
of support, school leaders have revealed.
“They have told a parliamentary inquiry of a serious shortage of places and resources for students with learning and behaviour problems in special schools and in support units in mainstream schools.
“As a result, children with disabilities or special needs can be put into classes with
a teacher who is not sufficiently qualified.
“And as a growing number of students with diverse issues are integrated into mainstream classes, teachers increasingly are finding it difficult — if not impossible — to cope, even with extra help. …
“In a NSW Primary Principals’ Association survey 74 per cent of heads of special schools and support units indicate they do not have enough staff.
“‘Teachers are frustrated that their day mainly consists of keeping people safe — teaching and learning becomes the lowest priority,’ its submission says.
“‘Many of our students are violent and need several people to manage one student which puts disadvantage across the whole school.’
“In the special schools catering for children with the highest needs, staff, students and parents are trapped in a ‘cycle of crisis management’.”

“The primary principals say the increasing number of students with disability and special needs presenting for enrolment in government schools is presenting special challenges.”

June 23, 2017, (Australia) Gold Coast Bulletin: Politician Pauline Hanson gets to heart of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plight
“PAULINE Hanson outraged mainstream politicians and the politically correct elites this week by suggesting that severely autistic children should not be placed in mainstream classrooms but, rather, should be given the special assistance which they need.
“For putting forward such a common sense view, which has the support of most ordinary Australians and many teachers and parents, she has, of course, been roundly vilified. …
“Hanson’s criticisms of the current “mainstreaming” policy correctly point out that severely autistic children are not currently receiving proper assistance, In such circumstances, why should yoga teachers receive NDIS funds which should be going to fund special school programs for severely autistic children?”

Anne McElroy Dachel

As these two stories from Jan show, the numbers keep increasing, and no one asks what's happening to our children. It isn't just autism; it's all the disabilities that are just considered a part of childhood today.

Jan 23, 2017, Chicago Tribune: Critics: CPS Special Ed Policy Is ‘Delay And Deny’
“Venessa Fawley knew her daughter’s transition in September from preschool to full-day kindergarten at a different school would be challenging. A change in routine is especially difficult for kids with autism.
“But what she didn’t expect was that Chicago Public Schools would revoke her six-year-old’s special education services for the new school year. Or that CPS would deny altogether that her child was even autistic. …
“District officials also suggested there was a problem with the increasing percentage of special ed students, despite declining overall enrollment.”

Jan 19, 2017, Texas Tribune: Expecting spike in special ed students, advocates push for better services
“Texas is expected to increase the number of public school students receiving special education services, and disability rights advocates are aiming to improve the overall quality of those services. …
“In Texas, she said, most students with disabilities spend the majority of their days in general education classrooms. ‘They’re receiving all of their content and instruction from general ed teachers who have no training in how to teach them,’ she said.”

bob moffit

@ Anna

"Anne, I agree we don't want our children arbitrarily segregated. But the issue of inclusion in classrooms is complicated."

Slightly off topic of autism here .. but .. it has been reported that many parents are deliberately keeping their children home for a year .. even though by birthdate .. they are eligible to begin kindergarten.

The reason these parents are choosing to delay enrolling their children is their date of birth .. having come to believe a child born late in a calendar year .. say Nov-Dec .. can be as many as 9 months behind those children born earlier ... say Jan-March. It is much better for those late born children to begin the following year .. when THEY will have the advantage that accompanies normal AGE DEVELOPMENT with their kindergarten peers.

So .. yes ... the "issue of inclusion in classrooms is complicated" .. sometimes even for atypical children.


Interesting to talk about Australia but we have a very urgent situation here. The new healthcare bill takes a meat cleaver to Medicaid which covers many services for autistic children and adults. This is very serious for those with disabilities. Act now and call your senators if you don't want this rammed through. This could affect your lives for many years to come.


Good points. As much as I like to mainstream, at times it just doesn't make sense. My son is in high school now too and while the academic side is mostly good, the social/emotional side is a mess. I feel for him especially knowing that there are many kids just like him in the school that he simply hasn't found because he is so withdrawn. He feels lonely yet he's surrounded by 1000 kids. A segregated class would really help.

Regarding the numbers, the catastrophe Andrew Wakefield predicted is becoming reality. I think we're about 1 in 10 now. Massive cover-up and black out as you commented. More lies coming from the CDC. It's just a matter of time before Paul Offit's self serving rationales ring hollow to anyone with common sense.

Anne McElroy Dachel

Shaun Berrigan, Australian former professional rugby league footballer, backs Pauline Hanson. He agrees that there has to be more done for escalating rates of autism.

June 23, 2017, Brisbane Courier-Mail: One Nation’s Pauline Hanson’s comments were on right track

"I have an autistic daughter named Imogen and as a father of four girls, I agree with Hanson’s comments that children with autism spectrum disorder should be removed from mainstream classrooms.

"Children with autism have behavioural issues that in order to address, takes up a lot of their parents’ time, while taking attention away from their other children. So you can imagine what it must be like for teachers who have to dedicate extra time away from their classroom of neurotypical kids. ..."


We are at least starting to see that those in higher educational or political positions can no longer ignore the facts. We are heading for a tsunami of autism. It is simply unaffordable as well as heartbreaking.

Anna Quandt

Anne, I agree we don't want our children arbitrarily segregated. But the issue of inclusion in classrooms is complicated.
When my son was accurately diagnosed with autism in the fourth grade we agonized over his schooling. We decided to take him out of the school for learning disabled and put him in regular public schools so that he could see normal social interactions. In retrospect I think we made the wrong decision. He needed one on one instruction. And as he got older and wanted to fit in as a teenager he felt worse about letting others see what he couldn't understand. As I say this is complicated.

Hans Hitten

US President Donald Trump has announced he will formally nominate NFL tycoon Woody Johnson to be US ambassador to the UK.

The billionaire philanthropist and heir of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical giant, who is 70, has known Mr Trump for many years.

However, Mr Johnson, a major Republican fundraiser, originally backed Trump rival Jeb Bush in Republican primaries.

John Stone

Senator Hanson sounds very unsympathetic but I doubt whether she is more creepy than the people who try to pretend that everything is normal.


Ten per cent of our school's students have an autism diagnosis

sounds a lot higher than 1 in 68, 1 in 45 etc. 1 in 10 will soon be the new normal.

cia parker

I think most autistic children would benefit from separate classes: I know my daughter would have. It continues to be the case that EVERYONE just assumes that they DO understand English and COULD use it if they wanted to. Speech therapy continues to be just "chat" therapy, which assumes that if you ask an autistic students questions on topics interesting to him in a kind, welcoming way, that OF COURSE they can answer back. How could they not, after having heard English every day all their lives? NO comprehension of the brain damage that is autism. Autistic children need several hours a day in special classes devoted to teaching English as a foreign language incrementally, with a lot of demonstration and structured practice, always using and coaching the students to use complete sentences. School subjects MUST be taught in very simple language, very simple concepts chosen to be at the comprehension level of the individual student. This is NOT being done in public schools, and even less in general education private schools. FERPA is actually a federal law, which requires inclusion of special needs children in the general classroom, where they flounder, are endlessly bored and uncomprehending, are often disruptive and learn nothing. Their paras try to help them do the general classroom work, but obviously can't work miracles, and wind up just telling them what to write. In high school (where my daughter is now), they have to take all the required courses that typical students take, theoretically modified to their comprehension level. At least in my daughter's case, this has not been done AT ALL. It's been five or six years since she brought home any papers, quizzes, or tests, since she could not do well on any kind of unmodified quiz or test. And I have not ever seen ONE SINGLE modified piece of work or evaluation. In middle school I asked if she could be in the special ed classroom, but was told no, she couldn't, as they said she tested of normal IQ (no comment), and they already had ten students in the special ed class and it wouldn't hold any more. My daughter had had a nervous breakdown under the ridiculous expectations, and their answer was to put her in PLATO online learning at a computer all by herself in the autism classroom which was empty most of the day, since the students were all sent to typical classes with paras, and an autism social skills class once a day. My daughter couldn't cope at all in the social skills class, being the lowest verbal autistic student in the school. She couldn't cope at all with the PLATO online learning designed for typical students, and four months later, it was revealed that she hadn't been able to answer a single question right in the online learning. I took her out of middle school, but a year and a half later, she wanted to go to high school, and after a lot of negotiation and anger at what she had endured since kindergarten, we got an extremely mediocre program set up with theoretically (not really) adapted work in the core classes. She hasn't learned ONE SINGLE THING in school. I also homeschool her and she's learned a lot that way. I've written up question sheets for the Core Knowledge curriculum 1-12 from a guide with outlines for every subject for every month. And we work until she can answer every question independently at least twice. Our outside speech therapist says that that is known as error-free learning and is what is used in the rehabilitation of stroke victims. And we have also worked on ESL for nearly four years, using the Cambridge Connect and now Interchange series. Cambridge has excellent books for every level, down to preschool, and this is the program which would revolutionize education and English acquisition for the autistic. Cecily says a lot now, and uses the basic structures for questions and comments to say many things, when four years ago, before we started, she could only say a few rote sentences learned by heart, like What are we having for dinner, without being able to use those structures to say anything else. Now we're working on making requests saying Could you..., Would you..., and, most important, Would you mind putting, going, buying, etc., using gerunds. And What is it used for? It's used for putting, making, etc., another use of gerunds. And the answer to the request starts with I'll do it in a minute, I'll put them away right away, always with I'll. They HAVE to be taught every single little structure independently and not assume ANYTHING, and that way they have the neural circuits with the structures restored after having been broken by the vaccine encephalitis, and able to be used and also used to support the storage in memory of experiences, and used to enable the gradual development of complex thinking and reasoning, which cannot be done without intact language structures on neural circuits.

So yes, autistic children NEED to have separate classes with specially-designed educational materials. it should not be viewed as segregation, but as appropriate accomodations for an extremely severe condition.

And there ARE genetic tests for "vaccine allergies." Harmony X and Engerix both developed simple tests to look for the genes most associated with autism, with the intention that these people would not receive vaccines. But the FDA PULLED THE PLUG on them and did not allow these products to come to market, as that would let everyone know that vaccines DO cause autism when given to those with the genetic susceptibility to reacting to them with autism (etc.) This is just a fact, and should not be feared or interpreted as being denigrating in some way. It is not denigrating, just the way it is, and these children would be happy, healthy, and normal if their genetic profile were respected and they got few or no vaccines.


Australia's Senator Pauline Hanson spoke out in Parliament calling for the removal of some children with autism from regular education classrooms:

“We have to debate these issues. There is a problem in our society. Parents know it, teachers know it,” she said .... (But) ...... if you raise anything in this country that is considered taboo by just a few of those on the left, we are not going to find the answers that we need.”

Sounds like Senator Hanson could just as well be speaking as a Senator of any State in the U.S.

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