Raychelle Andrewartha and her son Hendrix Fulton 11 Picture: AAP/ Sarah Marshall)
Raychelle Andrewartha and her son Hendrix Fulton 11 Picture: AAP/ Sarah Marshall)

Year 2 level student forced into high school

AN autistic Year 6 student who is studying a partial Year 2 curriculum at Griffin State School is being made to enrol into a mainstream high school next year.

Hendrix Fulton, 11, has level two autism (diagnosed when he was three years old), intellectual impairment, a rare chromosome deletion, a severe speech and language impairment, ADD, sensory processing disorder and suffers from anxiety.

His mum Raychelle Andrewartha applied for Hendrix to attend Caboolture Special School but was told over the phone by an Education Department representative that he would not be accepted and "would be better off" in a mainstream high school.

She said Hendrix would not cope at a mainstream high school and was at a serious risk of being bullied.

 

Raychelle Andrewartha and her son Hendrix Fulton PICTURE: AAP/ Sarah Marshall
Raychelle Andrewartha and her son Hendrix Fulton PICTURE: AAP/ Sarah Marshall


"I need him to be in a safe environment, where he will feel included," she said.

"I was told by the department that Hendrix's profile isn't the same as those children who are getting accepted into special school at the moment," she said.

"How is a child who is failing a Year 2 curriculum going to do a Year 7 curriculum?"

"He has low adaptive behaviours. He can't put his shoes on, he can't tie his shoelaces, He has no hygiene skills, he doesn't know his birthday, he doesn't know his address, he has no idea about stranger danger.

"He's going to be extremely vulnerable.

"There is no high school that can accommodate him, so where do we put him? I just don't understand it."

Most state high schools have special education programs, however, the children in these programs spend the majority of their time in the same classes as "mainstream" students.

A Department of Education spokeswoman confirmed students with a disability learned alongside their peers but said "tailored adjustments" were made.

"These adjustments may include support from teacher aides, individual group work and tailored teaching. In some schools, students with disability may also attend classes in special education units," she said.

Ms Andrewartha said the education department didn't consider Hendrix to meet the criteria for enrolment at a special school, as outlined in State Government legislation.

To be considered, the child must have a disability; have a severe disability (which includes an intellectual disability); be unlikely to attain their potential unless receiving special education; and require an educational program best delivered in a special school.



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