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Home educated students miss out on disability support services

Thu, 18 May 2017, 11:21 AM

Andrew Taylor, The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 May 2017
 
Every child in NSW has a legal right to access and participate in education, regardless of disability or special needs. But Carly Landa said there were "definitely negative consequences" to sending her son to school.
 
Louie, now 11, went to school for three years before his parents decided to home-school him.
 
"For Louie, it just didn't work," she said of her son, who is on the autism spectrum. "The ideal is every student's needs are met and that every student is supported as a learner.
 
"But the reality just doesn't actually translate. The numbers in the classroom, the lack of support."
 
However, the decision to home educate children with disabilities or special needs means they do not receive the support provided to other students - a situation parents want the NSW government to address by funding services.
 
Schools unable to meet children's needs
 
A NSW parliamentary inquiry into students with a disability or special needs has been told many parents choose home education because schools do not adequately cater to their children's needs.
 
"Students with a disability are commonly home educated because parents believe that schools will be unable to meet their needs ... or to protect them from harm," according to the Home Education Association's submission to the inquiry.
 
One parent gave the inquiry a harrowing account of the bullying experienced by her 11-year-old daughter, who has a moderate intellectual disability and autism.
 
"She was bitten with blood drawn, hair ripped out of her head, arms twisted and bruises every day of the week," the parent, whose name was suppressed, said.
 
[...]
 
Read: the full article at The Sydney Morning Herald
 

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