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MEDIA RELEASE 25 MARCH 2008

'TASMANIA'S POLICIES FOR CHILDREN WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES LIE IN RUINS' CLAIMS 'ATAC' [Action for Tasmanian Autistic Children].

Roger Law, Secretary of ATAC [Action For Tasmanian Austistic Children], said today that ten years after de-institutionalisation took place in Tasmania, the failure to introduce programmes for children with intellectual disabilities has brought about a total crisis for hundreds of families in Tasmania.

He stated that today we have deteriorated to the point where before the Coroner has been able to report on one death of an autistic youth last year, another one dies unnecessarily, and a further inquest is required. And we are asked not to discuss the death because it may prejuduce the enquiry.

While we keep quiet, however, other situations are occuring that may soon lead to further tragedies, he said. Mr Law instanced the case of a single mother, very seriously ill, whose programme for her autistic son has been withdrawn in an attempt to force her to send her son to school. This is in spite of advice from an interstate expert on autism that the child is not ready for re-introduction to school, and will break down if this occurs

" We now have a game of Russian Roulette being played by Government bureaucrats. One one side is a mother determined to protect her child; on the other, are bureaucrats determined to enforce their uninformed view on her. The result is a highly stressed, ill mother, who because of her health condition is having continuous seizures, alone in a house with a severely autistic child. The only result can be that the mother breaks down and both go into care, or an accident occurs while the mother is unconscious in a seizure, and another double tragedy occurs." Mr Law said.

Mr Law said that the news in The Mercury last week that another child with behavioural problems was not picked up by his family after respite, again illustrates the crisis in government services to families with intellectually disabled children. Mr Law said that his organisation and others had been working hard to get children out of Respite Centres.

"However, before we can achieve this goal, and even as the Commissioner for Children is due to report on the care of these children, government inaction and their referring everything off to enquries, which stifles debate and delays decision making, causes another child to be abandoned."

Mr Law said that it is no co-incidence that ten years after de-institutionalisation, and the failure to implement adequate services for the intellectually disabled, and for those with mental health problems, there has been a 70% increase in those in the State's other institutions at Risdon and Deloraine..

Mr Law said that ATAC was meeting with the Minister for Education on THURSDAY 27th MARCH, and that families with autistic children from all areas of the State will be telling the Minister of their dissatisfaction with the services being offered to their children.

Mr Law said that ATAC would be asking the Minister to introduce programmes for autistic children based on scientifically tested principles with regular testing to show their effectiveness.

"These programmes are now standard in countries such as the US, Canada, Great Britain and Europe, and are proving very successful, "he said.

Mr Law said that after the meeting a press conference would be held at 90 Argyle Street, Hobart at 4.30pm to 5.00pm to announce any progress that is made in the talks held with the Minister.

 

 

ROGER CAN BE CONTACTED ON 03 6286 1316
or mob. 0400271500

 

Email address: jerobi40@bigpond.com
atactas.google.com

 


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

OR

http://www.melbarant.com/atac/

 

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ATAC - Action for Tasmanian Autistic Children!