Waiting game must stop

Uncertainty frustrates special needs families

Susan Greaves
Robert Townson PS

Susan Greaves and her grandson

At this time of the year students with a disability and their families are living with heightened anxiety — they are desperately hoping for a suitable and nearby high school placement.

At a recent Camden-Campbelltown Teachers Association meeting it was reported that three students from one primary school have no placements for going into year 7 next year.

These students and their families are facing an uncertain future. While all other year 6 students at their school have been enjoying orientation sessions for high school, these students and their families have no idea where they will be. A mainstream setting is not a suitable option.

Why, when there is a diagnosis, are support class placements denied?

Why, when the student has been in a primary setting, is there no automatic high school support class placement?

My grandson is on the autism spectrum. He started school last year at my mainstream school.

It became apparent that a mainstream setting was not suitable — he needed a specialised setting. A placement was sought in term 3. We were finally offered one to start in term 2 this year. He is now thriving.

I worry, already, for my grandson’s future. His primary education is now in a safe and appropriate setting, but what about high school? Will I still be battling?

There are many ferocious activists like me prepared to fight for all students who have no placements next year.

Urgent talks sought on support placements