Page 4171 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 18 November 2015

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The government also continues to provide other innovative models of service for children with a disability, including those with autism. In terms 3 and 4 of this school year allied health staff from Therapy ACT contributed to a collaborative research project at Black Mountain and Cranleigh schools. On my recent visit to Black Mountain School I saw this project in action. It was very, very encouraging and provided therapists and teachers alike with a great opportunity to learn from each other.

The project considered how an integrated model of teachers and therapists working together could support the learning needs of students with complex needs, including students with autism. Also in schools, the therapy assistants program has worked in the Tuggeranong network this year and will work with schools in the Belconnen network next year. This program involves allied health professional and therapy assistants working with teachers in schools and includes whole class programs, individual support and education for teachers. Children with developmental delays and disabilities, including autism, receive this valuable input in their school day.

The NDIS is presenting fantastic opportunities to people with disabilities, including people with autism and their families and carers. We are seeing a growth in services and innovation that is fundamentally changing the way people with a disability are treated. Under the NDIS, people with autism will be able to choose the support and services that they need to engage in life and the community.

I thank Mr Wall for the opportunity to inform the Assembly of the good work that the ACT Labor government is doing for children with autism, their families and their carers across the school community and across the broader community. I move the amendment standing in my name:

Omit all words after paragraph 1(a), substitute:

“(b) the importance of early diagnoses, early intervention therapy and support for ASD;

(c) the role of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and that the ACT will be the first jurisdiction to fully transition to the scheme;

(d) the new arrangements for support, including post school options, which will take place with the transition to the NDIS;

(e) that, as of September this year, 2176 ACT residents have plans and another 439 have been deemed eligible and are developing plans through the NDIS;

(f) the establishment of the Child Development Service which will commence in 2016;

(g) that the Education and Training Directorate has 27.5 Learning Support Unit Classes and 30.5 Learning Support Unit (Autism) Classes in ACT government schools; and

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