Spectrum School is a parent advocacy group campaigning the Government for a purpose built High School for children with Aspergers and High Functioning Autism (and aligned conditions such as ADHD, ODD and anxiety) with an IQ over 70. We believe that the Governments 'inclusion at all costs' approach yet providing little support for our children means that our children are slipping through the cracks. One size does not fit all and we believe there should be an alternative to mainstream for our children. We believe there should be a purpose built school for our children that addresses their socio-academic needs in a holistic, nurturing and supportive specialised environment.
Why specifically Children with Aspergers/Autism with an IQ over 70?
Children diagnosed with Aspergers, High Functioning Autism or Autism Level 1 with an average to high IQ do not qualify for Special Schools or Autism Schools and have no choice but to attend mainstream schools. Within the mainstream setting most of these children do not receive any funding at all, despite being autistic. The few who do receive funding are required to meet very stringent guidelines under categories such as Severe Behaviour Disorder. Quite ironically, these behaviours have to be proven to NOT be associated with Autism but a secondary diagnosis. Thus highlighting the fact that autistic children who function in a cognitive assessment over the score of 70 are not entitled to any funding in mainstream schools.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 86% of children with an ASD diagnosis were reported as having difficulties at school. The prognosis after school is also unappealing. 81% who actually manage to finish school do not complete any further study and only 42% end up in the work force. All these figures are lower when compared to other disabilities and people without disabilities.
And so it is time to band together and demand change. We want a Secondary School dedicated to the needs of children with Aspergers/High Functioning Autism to ensure they receive a quality education and subsequently a bright future.