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PostSubject: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Mon 23 Jun 2008 - 2:30

couriermail.com.au (Aus) - 23 June 2008

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QUEENSLAND Liberal Senator Sue Boyce has called for special schools to be scrapped and disabled children sent into mainstream education.

Senator Boyce, who has a daughter with Down syndrome, said it was time someone was "brave" and "crazy" enough to push for total integration of students...

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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Mon 23 Jun 2008 - 4:39

I thought it was sounding like a very positive move, until you read Julia Gillards reply doh!

I agree with Sue Boyce 100% If schools had no choice but to take students with disabilites, and that means ALL sorts of disabilities, they would have to make it work! We have a brand new special school about 5 minutes from our place, it backs onto one of the local high schools. We know quite a few kids at the high school, and it has been a real eye opener to them. If I had a dollar for each of them who have said to us "You would never send Andy there would you, it's horrible" (or words to that effect) I would be on my way to being rich!

It just seems so logical, we want people with special needs integrated into society, yet we are also expected to send them to a segretated school where they spend the majority of their life mixing only with other children who have special needs.

I think I'm gonna email Sue Boyce.
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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Mon 23 Jun 2008 - 9:28

I'm early in the journey so not really qualified to talk. I sure hope Jirah is catered for in mainstream, however, if she needs extra help with stuff, I also hope she has the opportunity to be withdrawn for it. When I was in primary school I was withdrawn for Maths and English. I think it worked really well. When I was in grade 7, I was in a totally separate class and although academically it probably worked, socially it had a big impact on me. I hated being from the 'nerdy' class and being ostracised from the rest of the school. It is hard though. We've just had major capital development at our school because we have one child in a wheelchair. The whole grounds had to be modified. I'm glad that we were able to do it and that he has the opportunity to continue schooling where has was already going. I don't know that every school has the funds available though (and we sourced all sorts of grants to achieve it). Ultimately, I agree with Sue Boyce, I guess it's just the logistics of it is tricky.

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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Mon 23 Jun 2008 - 16:12

I guess I'm sitting on the fence here. Having had a term at mainstream school in Victoria and a term at a special school in Queensland I'm not sure which way is the best yet.

BUT, from my experience, what I would like to see in Queensland is that mainstream schools be much more accepting of special needs kids so that choice becomes a larger factor. I realise this comes down to having sufficient resources and funding from the government. I was trying to place Hannah in a mainstream school and just kept getting road blocks put in my way - so ultimately, I had no choice but to send Hannah to a special school.

Having said that, she has settled in really well and we've seen her improve in many areas.

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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Mon 23 Jun 2008 - 16:48

I think it should be all about choice. Whilst I think most of our kids will benefit from main-streaming, there are many children that it just wouldn't work for.

Have you guys read some of the replies? I really feel for some parents....like I always say "Down Syndrome is the disability of choice" Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Mon 23 Jun 2008 - 17:17

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Have you guys read some of the replies?
Yes I have and I hope that Special ed classes are her to stay.
I hope we never have to use them but they should be a choice
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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Mon 23 Jun 2008 - 17:37

Geez Karen, loads of replies hey! I can't beleive how many people are against her. And so many are missing the point that if the money wasn't being poured into special schools, there would be a lot more to give to mainstream schools. The other thing is that the resources that are tucked away in the special schools could actually benefit so many borderline kids who attend mainstream school.

I do beleive that there are some students who a special school is the best choice for, but at the same time, I think there are so many kids in special schools that could have successful intergration.
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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Mon 23 Jun 2008 - 18:06

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And so many are missing the point that if the money wasn't being poured into special schools, there would be a lot more to give to mainstream schools.
This is exactly how i feel, though i do realise that mainstream might not be for everyone, how will we know if we dont try it, and i would hope that all the necessary resourses were in place.
It is for exactly these reasons that i wont be looking at mainstreaming at our local government school, but at the alternative Rudolf Steiner school, im very lucky that i have one near me.
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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Mon 23 Jun 2008 - 21:23

kookaburra wrote:
"Down Syndrome is the disability of choice" Wink
Love it!! Cheer Leader

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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Mon 23 Jun 2008 - 22:30

I just read some of those comments, wow so many negative people, what are they scared of? Can you catch a disability? Some people are so afraid of change. While i do agree with the Senator i also think that you would still need to keep some special schools for the ones that will only ever achieve basic living skills. But why should other kids with disabilities have only special schools as an option, its like they dont want them to be able to learn and get a job Evil or Very Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Tue 24 Jun 2008 - 8:06

Narelle, I agree with you that
Quote :
I do beleive that there are some students who a special school is the best choice for, but at the same time, I think there are so many kids in special schools that could have successful intergration
.

But, I also believe that her stance to abolish all special schools is what people are afraid of. Maybe she needed to say something along the lines of "the first option for all children should be mainstream and then if they are not able to cope, a special school should be sought".

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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Tue 24 Jun 2008 - 11:09

I think you are spot on Angela. She has been a bit "gun-ho" with her whole "abolish them all" speech.

I was thinking about it again this morning too. We do have some specialist autsim schools, schools for deaf children and schools for blind children. Maybe that's what we need more of? Specific education centres for various disabilities. I think I would actually really love to see Andy in an educational setting where all the kids have DS. Probably sounds totally contradictory thinking
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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Tue 24 Jun 2008 - 12:11

Buggsie wrote:
I think I would actually really love to see Andy in an educational setting where all the kids have DS. Probably sounds totally contradictory thinking

Yes yes yes!! I know ppl with older (adult) kids with DS who've always pushed for mainstream but then found their child thrived better when surrounded by 'like' kids - they felt on par and felt they fitted in instead of always being the one needing extra help etc. I think a special school with kids with a range of disabilities is probably going to cater as well as mainstreaming because every kid is going to be so different. I really think that teachers can do so much more with a whole class of students if they're all about the same level, HOWEVER, I also believe there's a lot more to education than academics. And learning to work with others is probably the most important skill we can all learn Cool

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PostSubject: Re: Senator seeks mainstream education for disabled   Tue 24 Jun 2008 - 18:56

Our local school is very supportive of mainstreaming and the principal has a rep for finding funding from all sorts of places. He is even funding an aide and some other resources to assist special needs kids that attend the playgroup that meets at the school (ie for Talitha). If more kids were mainstreamed then they would have peers with disabilities as well as typical peers. The local special school principal advises parents to mainstream their kids and only consider special school if mainstream really isn't working for them. I am planning to mainstream Talitha and her Early Intervention lady will find whatever we need in terms of resources to make that happen. Very Happy
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