From 17 November 2015
A number of members of DDWA and other people in WA are supporting moves to establish an Autism Specific School in WA. John McGlue spoke about this on his morning program on ABC Perth.
Taryn Harvey called in to say that an Autism Specific School was one of a number of options members of DDWA consider when looking at choices for their child’s schooling, and people with Autism and their families represent the highest proportion of our new members which is growing significantly each week. Taryn invited the Education Department to engage with organisations like DDWA, which are in direct and regular contact with individuals and groups in the community and work together to provide the best options and outcomes for children with disability in Education.
Telethon Kids Institute head of autism research Professor Andrew Whitehouse says WA is the only major State in Australia not to have an autism-specific school. NSW, Queensland and Victoria have several autism-specific schools and South Australia will have one in 2016. Professor Whitehouse says that there is some evidence autism-specific schools may be beneficial to some but not all children with autism.
Martin Clery of the WA Education Department says that the rise in students with autism in WA reflects international trends, and that the Education Department continues to believe the best way for students with autism to reach their potential is to mis with other students in mainstream schools, with additional support provided when required.
Parents of children with autism, in WA, have been working with Eastern States organisations to investigate the viability of an autism specific school in WA and information will be posted on this site as developments progress.