An open letter to Pauline Hanson

Hi Pauline. I’m sure you have never heard of me, nor are you likely to ever meet me.

 

I’m one of “these kids” you talked about, who is Autistic and attended a mainstream school. From your comments in recent days, it is pretty clear your belief is that I, along with many others, do not “belong” in a mainstream school. I’d like to disagree with that.

You see, when you talked about Autism, you made a lot of inaccurate assumptions that every Autistic child is the same and needs the same support. That is false.

 

First and foremost, every Autistic person in an individual. No two Autistic individuals are alike, just like everyone else on the planet, we are unique.

 

When it comes to education, the primary focus must be on giving each individual the best possible environment in order for that person to succeed. For some, that will mean Special Education, in a Special Education school. For others, it may mean that they will be in mainstream education, in a specialised unit for Autistic children. For others again, it may main being in mainstream school, in mainstream classes, with the right support and assistance provided.

What you talked about was segregation. You talked about treating Autistic individuals as one large entity, and also bought into the myth that Autistic Children are more disruptive than their peers. Again, this is not true.

 

I could go on and on in much more detail but I’d like to keep it brief, in the rather unlikely event of your eyes actually reading this.

I’ll finish by saying this. When you talk about Autistic individuals in general, you aren’t talking about a diagnosis, or a condition. You are talking about human beings. Individuals, with thoughts, feelings, and emotions. And individuals have, by their very definition, individual requirements.

 

Treat each person as an individual. Not just a label.