Audio: Stephen O’Doherty in conversation with Nicole Rogerson
Despite attempts to explain, recent comments by One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson about students with autism have left parents dismayed and angered.
The comments came during debate on the so-called Gonski 2.0 school funding package in May 2017, when Ms Hanson complained about the teacher time being taken by children with disabilities and autism.
“Most of the time the teacher spends so much time on them that they forget about the child who is reigning at the, you know, wants to go ahead in leaps and bounds in their education but are held back by those because the teachers spend time with them,” Ms Hanson said.
While not differentiating between the many different expressions of autism spectrum disorder, Ms Hanson argued that ‘they’ should be in special school settings, away from the mainstream. For many parents her comments have been regarded as insensitive and out of step with much educational thinking in the past ten years.
On Open House we spoke with Nicole Rogerson, CEO of Autism Awareness Australia and proud mother of Jack.