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LATEST MEDIA RELEASE: MARCH 3 2008

MINISTERIAL FLIM FLAM AND DISTORTION OF FACTS IS DESIGNED TO COVER THE CRISIS IN EDUCATION OF AUTISTIC CHILDREN.

 

Roger Law, Secretary of ATAC [Action for Tasmania's Autistic Children] said today that no amount of Ministerial spin can hide the fact that there is a crisis in the education of Autistic children in Tasmania.

Mr LAW said that Minister Bartlett's often repeated statement that the Tasmanian Education Department spends $16,000 each year on every child on the Special Needs Register is disingenuous. This is because the register he is talking about is a register to qualify for FEDERAL funding for aide time. Mr Law said that at a meeting with officials of the Tasmanian Education Department last year, he was told that only seventy five disabled - not just autistic - children qualified for this register. This means that the vast majority of autistic children receive no aide time at all. Those few who do receive it do not get full time aides, but rather have them for a few hours a week only as $16,000 does not pay for a full time aide.

Mr Bartlett is quoted as saying that "Applied Behavioural Analysis is being used within our schools and within the Department of Education system". Once again, when this spin is examined, the truth is different than the broad generalisation.

The truth is that the only A.B.A. programme partly funded by the Education Department was abruptly ended after less than twelve months when the Department of Education withdrew its funding. Mr Law said that it is also true that at school levels some Principals and staff co-operate with ABA programmes that are paid for by parents or other sources. Schools such as New Norfolk Primary were leaders in this area and show that the teachers on the ground are desperate for help and advice, and want effective programmes for autistic children.

Mr Law said there are procedures that apply to scientific research. These procedures require that the research in question is reviewed by peers before publication, that provisional results are confirmed or replicated before the claims of significant findings are made, that therapies are subjected to rigorous trials before they are recommended for public consumption.

"ONLY ONE TREATMENT FOR AUTISM MEETS THIS STRICT SCIENTIFIC CRITERIA, AND THAT IS ABA."

"Why does this Minister promote and defend approaches that do not accord with the approaches that are taught to science students in our schools?" Mr Law asked.

"This is a Minister of Education promoting subjective voodoo science and he should be ashamed of this type of voodoo spin."

"As for the Minister's experts," Mr Law said, "perhaps he can tell the parents how many of them are qualified to carry out a full psychological assessment of a child with autism, and to draw up a specific programme for that child. How many such assessments are carried out each year?"

Mr Law challenged Mr Bartlett to do a survey of parents of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder in his schools, and see if he can find any that are satisfied with the services provided.

Mr Law said Mr Bartlett needs to forget the spin and voodoo science he is peddling and sit down with ATAC and its parent representatives to address the disaster that is called education for children with autism in his schools

 

 

ROGER CAN BE CONTACTED ON 0362 861316

 

Email address: jerobi40@bigpond.com

 


A.T.A.C's website: http://www.atacc.biz/atac/

 

PREVIOUS MEDIA RELEASE RELEASE 24 FEBRUARY 2008

ATAC - Action for Tasmanian Autistic Children!

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