Natasha Robinson of The Australian, on May 22 2012, wrote: “A systemic culture of low expectations means that for disabled children the nation's schools are just babysitting services’, a high-level meeting of figures in education and social service has been told”.
The story is mainly about children with a disability in main stream schools. Whereas, little is mentioned of, ‘Special, or Special Developmental Schools’. We find these schools, and their outreach programs, in Victoria, very good.
The ‘babysitting/minder care’ occurs when the children become adults and, where many move into ‘Day Services’ funded by the Department of Human Services.
Special Developmental Schools provide their students with very good early intervention, behaviour management and skill training, to raise them to a good quality of life. It is disappointing, this drops like a brick for those who, as adults, move into ‘Day Services’, where there is little continuity.
Most of the ‘Day Services’ claim their clients are adults, and should do adult activities. Rather than continue with ‘lifetime learning’ similar to TAFE, as many people with intellectual and multiple disabilities need more time to learn.
In many ‘Day Services’, their clients receive little more than basic minder care with a few simple activities such as going for a walk, going for a coffee and maybe a swimming program. All in the name of not treating them like children, When, in reality, most are functioning at a level far less than a legal adult.
Special and Special Developmental Schools raise the skill level of their students. This skill training should be continued by education department resources, rather than their students be transferred to very second-class minder care services receiving poor funding and resources from the Department of Human Services, Victoria.