As more Autistic children start school in main-steam Government schools, there is a desperate need for teachers to know how to handle a child who is having a meltdown.
When the principal of a Canberra primary school took it upon herself, without consultation with the Education Department, to build a 'time-out' cage for a 10 year old Autistic boy, she was sacked and told she would never work in a Government school again.
Two teachers with expertise in disability education have been assigned to the school.
Yes, the cage was a terrible idea, but we haven't heard the other side of the story. Every child with Autism is unique and their behaviour is sometimes unpredictable but if a child starts to scream and throw things around, what is the teacher supposed to do?
I see two glaring problems here.
For the parents of Autistic children - are they really getting he help the Department says they are, or are they being forgotten and ignored in class; and
For the parents of children without a disability, are they being compromised by unruly Autistic children shutting down the class?
This problem isn't going away.