26. #AutismandCostofSpecialEducation

It is my understanding that there is atleast 3400 students with autism in south australia and rising. The government of South Australia has let the Aspect Treetops Autism specific school use the old Ashford Special School site at a peppercorn rental. The local school zoned in our area means that there are government subsidies available to help pay school fee’s. Does this apply the same at Ashford? Can I apply for the School-card? What subsidies are available to me in my situation? How much transport assistance can I get for my child? Is there long distance education?

The facts are that you can’t go to this Treetops Aspect Special School if you don’t have atleast $232/wk spare cash and thats for 1 child. If you have two children then its $500 approximately. This is compared to $40 per week for Services and materials charge at the local mainstream school. It’s prohibitive for a large number of Austistic families because they simply do not have the cash.

The thought of HomeSchooling has always been around but not something I have wanted to get excited about! I don’t know it! Although, when I was a kid I did corrospondence schooling for a while. So how much money can I afford out of my budget to send my children to a school specifically oriented to teaching kids on the Autism Spectrum? I am excited about the Satellite Programs the Aspect treetops Autism School is proposing and the Distance education Proposed Program. The issue is how to pay for it?

It seems that the affordability of education equates to class sizes! Am I wrong? Does a kid with Autism who prefers to be by himself need socialization? I think I as a parent need to make our living arrangements bearable for both parent and child.

What happens to a child if they are bullied at school? Bullying and its effects at school have been well studied. Nobody wants that for their child to go through hard times. What is the criteria for entry point to Department of Education Autism Intervention Programs at Blackwood Autism Intervention Program and the Heights Autism Intervention Program, Modbury, Adelaide? What is the criteria for entry to the Aspect Autism Treetops School at Ashford, Adelaide? Would Montessori be good? Tick it off, for a try. What about Steiner education? Not that fussed about it! It can be overwhelming to consider. Do I want to stick my head in the sand about it? Do I have the energy to get excited about the idea?

The school fees at Treetops are in the order of $10,000 or so PA which may be prohibitive for 90% of ASD cases as it may be more unaffordable for those on lower incomes. $200 per week for 1 child. How much does it cost to educate a child in a Department of Education school?

 

Written and Authorised by  Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate  for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018

 

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#AutismSiblings, Dec 2014

By the end of December 2014, Stephen’s speech pathologist (who has witnessed and experienced Jack’s behavior on the occasional routine visit with Stephen) says that I should have Jack assessed for Autism as well. What types of Autism? Do you mean a “Classic Kanner Autism”? or a “Low functioning Autism”, or a “High Functioning Autism” or a “Savant”???  or “PDD NOS”. Oh yeah baby! That’s a classification that is Not otherwize specified. It means a pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwize specified. The categorizations are changing in the DSM 4, to the DSM 5, (Diagnostic Manual). I have many questions and not many answers, or  everyone has a different opinion according to their values and philosophies and modalities.

What! I don’t believe it. Jack is only 3 years old. How can you tell? I speak to his father who basically is incredibly protective of Jack. My husband doesn’t like the Speech Pathologist saying that she is trying to ” push her own agenda”, my husband is very critical of the whole Autism diagnosis idea. “The child is the way he is and if everyone else doesn’t like it, well to heck with them!” “How does she know! He’s just being a kid!”, and “They all develop at their own rate!” Both of my husband and myself still trying to come to terms with Stephen’s diagnosis let alone another one for Jack. I can certainly see a price tag attached to an assessment process.

I had read a few books about Autism. I knew what the debates were, or I thought I did. One was being around the vaccinations and whether they caused Autism, Jack was due fo a vaccination and me wary of  motherly discussions around the issue. I told the Dr of my worries and that if Jack had the Autism Gene then it might make him more susceptible to an Autististic onset.  We vaccinated anyway because I thought “Autism is no big deal for me! I can handle this !” It would protect him from more serious conditions.

I remember taking him back to the Dr’s and he licked the wall! Honey, Don’t do that. You might get sick! How curious was that, Holy Moly. “Jack, my love! Don’t lick  things in the Dr’s rooms.” I can remember wanting the kids to be still, instead of investigating  what Dr’s got in his draws, his patient bed and stethoscope. Holy moly! We need help on how to pay for therapy for both my sons. Dr we need help. Therapy takes a long time to organize. There is allot of paperwork. I need the National Disability Insurance Scheme as well. Therapists charging at an agreed fixed price, Speech therapists and Psychologists at $167.13, Occupational therapists around $125, Social Skills groups and the list of therapies and sensory toys goes on. They all cost a lot of money.

Written and Authorised by  Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate  for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018

 

 

 

25. Swimming week 2013

Another situation: No. 1 Kiddo  was at the pool as a part of school swimming week. He wanted me to be there, he fell over and stubbed his toe. It was a horrible mess and flies were attracted to the moisture in the wound. Kiddo  lost it! He was totally freaked out by it! He screamed and shouted. It was almost like those flys suddenly became enormous garagantuan monsters. He was terrified of them. His eyes huge with fear! He wanted me to do something and I went to help him cover the wound or wash it. He just screamed.Right in my ear and so much that if I couldn’t do this or that I would just take him home. I swept him up in my arms, dumped him in the pram aside his baby brother as Kiddo so upset he wanted to be carried. I drove them both home in the car, me so very angry because I was totally confused as to why my son was not 1. doing what the other kids did. 2. my son would not let me look after him. I needed to look after him as if I didn’t then who would.

 

Written and Authorised by  Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate  for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018