Open letter to Ms Pauline Hanson,
Your statement in Parliament last week is a bit ludicrous. You imply that people with autism need to be cut off from those who don't have autism in schools which is just not smart or true.
It is true some autistic people can't cope in mainstream schools but you don't want to cut off every autistic student simply because of their diagnosis. This is just not fair!
I have autism myself and yet I have so many friends who do not have autism. I cope in mainstream school really well because I have really good supports in place. Some students may not cope in mainstream school and benefit from separate classes or schools but this shouldn't be compulsory.
I find it mind-blowingly insulting to think you or anyone for that matter, would believe I could be better off in a special school or class, cut off from my peers.
Being segregated from neurotypical students lessens my experiences of real social diversity and what life is really like as I would only know other autistic students and my family.
I am capable of walking, talking and eating/drinking and it feels like you have no idea about the spectrum of autism.
Being in a mainstream school provides me with normal social experiences and the opportunity to understand the usual social cues. I am able to learn and achieve academically the same as any other of my peers. I personally am very passionate about a few subjects in school (I am a bit of a nerd 😜). I even receive good school reports.
One issue that you made note of, was the belief all autistic students are disruptive in class. Again this is just not true as most autistic students aren't simply disruptive. An autistic student is no different to a neurotypical students' being disruptive in the classroom. A lot of these disruptive behaviours can be prevented or managed appropriately in the same way as any other student disruption.
I have had tonnes of teachers know I have autism and they know how to handle any issues I may have. I am no different to any other student in the class, except I have some individual needs (as any other student may have.)
The idea that autistic students can attend a special school or a special class is a very good idea; but don't make it compulsory! These should be options available to all students not just students who have autism. Examples of students who may need these options include students with anxiety, students who are blind, students who are having a difficult life and for many other reasons. There should be options and different ways to learn available to all students in Australia.
Ms Hanson I understand that you have very controversial ideas but, please don't segregate all students with autism; this in itself will create issues in our society.