New Report Highlights Deficit In Australian Inclusion Policy

New Report Highlights Deficit In Australian Inclusion Policy
By C Hoppe
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A recent report from Australia found that while many schools implement inclusion policies for Special Educational Needs (SEN), most currently fall far short in their provision, forcing parents to choose segregated educational options instead. In her study "Trading places: Autism Inclusion Disorder and school change," Rozanna Lilley followed parents of eight children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) actively working with educational professionals to improve the service provision and opportunities allocated to their children. After investigation, all parents, opted for the segregated options available to them. Liley found that it was the schools who were not adapting, and not the other way around. The discovery of which, led her to coin the term 'Autism Inclusion Disorder' (AID). Lilley suggests, "that if a truly inclusive education is desired, the focus  should be on the 'deficiencies of the classroom' rather than those of the student." She believes many schools suffer from ‘Autism Inclusion Disorder,' the symptoms of  which include: “a deficit in of social communication and social interaction and restricted and repetitive behaviours.” She also notes, that while some schools still refuse to offer inclusive education, many of those who do, have a service which is, "fragile, contingent and disappointing.” Lilley notes that while many school 'drift' toward inclusion, policy makers should take note, " it is the schools, not students, who need to change.”

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