Pauline in the poo again

Suggesting special classes for kids with autism and other difficulties.
When I was at school we had 5 grades for each year to address the different levels that students could cope with without holding up others.
I taught music at TAFE for a year or so and found that everyone had a different perception of the practical and theoretical component which resulted in my not being able to properly convey my teaching at an efficient level so much so I gave it up and taught solo privately.
Your thoughts and not levelling this at disadvantaged kids.

last edited by bunyip

Special classes for special kids is how I feel. It is not fair on either group of children to be lumped together, for several reasons.
The obvious one that most people jump on is the disruption which special needs children can bring to a mixed class which detracts from the teaching of the non special kids.
The other one is usually only realised by the parents of special needs kids, and that is the fact that they won’t get the specialist tuition that they require.
There are many instances and classes where they can be integrated, which is very necessary for the development of the social skills of both groups, but should be done under the supervision of the teachers of both groups.

Some people automatically assume that the people who are in favour of separate classes have a bias against any special needs child, or person for that matter, and it is this assumption that itself biases people against special needs kids and adults too.
Having spent a great deal of time as a volunteer working with both children an adults suffering from Cerebral Palsy, Spastic to many people, I can get quite upset at the attitudes of some people which is usually derived from ignorance of the realities of children and people with the many disabilities which the bulk of us are fortunate enough to have avoided.

You can’t walk a mile in the shoes of a person with disabilities, but if you open your mind and walk that mile with a disabled person, you will be richer for it.

Autism is a broad spectrum disorder and is not always obvious to an outsider, it can be just a mild form of tunnel vision, concentrating on a subject whilst being oblivious to what is happening around you to full on disruptive behaviour and violence, a classic example was Turing in the film ‘The imitation game’.
It can also manifest itself in the way that you perceive things such as going for a ride on an aircraft rather than in an aircraft.
The person can be much the same as you and you are oblivious to the condition and in the extreme a severe intellectual disability and the person not able to perceive danger such as crossing the road in heavy traffic.
It is thought that many IT experts suffer in a lesser way, maybe suffer is the wrong word, they can perceive what you can’t and remain focused on the task at hand.
Unfortunately these people with a creative genius are labelled different and can become social outcasts due to their pedantic nature.
‘Special Schools’ have a stigmatizing effect and the students will be subject to taunting from others as kids can be right little bastards, this will carry on through their lives for a lot.
I have worked with a couple, one has no literary or maths skills but has an iPad and can solve some really complex puzzles in a very short space of time, sadly I have not been able to get through some of these, another is non verbal and delights in playing with piles of rocks and building dry wall fences with every part fitting, he sorts all the rocks and has some sort of indexing system and can go straight to the rock he needs in a pile of thousands.
How do I analyse these, I can’t and have no idea what happens inside their heads but they are both truly creative geniuses with absolutely no social skills.
Original question, I am inclined to agree with Pauline and Bill and allow them to integrate at different times and programmes which normalises the person and to an extent the condition.

No one size fits all approach is going to work. There may actually be a germ of truth in what she says for once, but as usual completely brain dead delivery has tripped her up. The message is lost in the translation.

When my kids went to primary school, there were a couple of separate classrooms for the special needs kids. They were called silver and gold. Roughly divided up into age groups I think. I don’t think they use them any more, probably due to lack of resources. Those kids were never seen, they had their own playground fenced off from the rest of the school. They were wheeled out at assembly to receive their awards. It required a lot of supervision.

When I was a kid at school there was plenty of disruption all the time. I was probably responsible for some of it. The ‘normal’ kids are the ones who mess up in class and cause disruption in my experience.

So far I have only heard rebuttals from educators saying that the data doesn’t support her assertion that these kids hold the rest back. And there is also evidence that not separating them out into special classes has a positive effect on all the kids. Helps to de-stigmatise the whole thing by exposing kids to people with different needs early on, rather than treating them as something unusual.

There are probably kids at the extreme end of the scale who really need personal individual care and who are probably never going to integrate into society. For the rest, I don’t see the need to segregate them.

Our neighbor’s son is autistic, not to the temper problems but has attended a special school and is in main streem now , but with a separate educator in the class room with him.

Complex problems , maths , looking a stuff from a different perspective, and playing the trombone he is very good at
( apparently the trombone makes the same noise every time which is important to autistic people ) model trains are another favorite,

He need to be told to look at people talking to him or he just wanders into his own world.

I can see the need for segregation of these kids in the class room , yes they have the need for education, and social interaction but so do the other kids in the class

The local talk back radio went mad after paulines speech but surprisingly a lot of parents agreed with her that there was a problem and their kids were being disadvantaged by having autistic, ADD , and kids with social problems in the class room.

There is a problem , but the answer who knows , two groups how do you appease both.

Pauline certainly knows how to step in it and then cross the shagpile, however on this one we see the all to regular “pile on” to essentially shut her down. I suspect it is something that is a work in process, I figure integration is best although some are just going to be to hard to integrate. I know a bloke who is autistic with two autistic boys, one gets quite violent. A set of circumstances that makes great outcomes impossible and life difficult for all concerned. I don’t have a view but I reckon along with the NDIS and special needs education we will be reworking this challenging area for decades, my take is that rather than Pauline’s one size fits all narrative society has to accept that this is an area that needs constant review and assessment to see what does and doesn’t work and that for some there may be less than perfect outcomes. If there was an answer it is strive for improvement and keep an open mind.

@tolovar said in Pauline in the poo again:

two groups how do you appease both.
The aim of any policy shouldn’t be to appease anyone, it should be to provide the appropriate education for all children. But of course, we know that’s not the way politics works.
I probably know less than anyone on this subject, but Termite summed up my feelings, based on the limited knowledge I have.

@Shy-Ted said in Pauline in the poo again:

two groups how do you appease both.

Well you don’t - that’s what leadership is. You do what’s best for the community, not what special interest groups think is best.

What’s best for the community? That’s why I’m not a leader! :laughing:

At the other extreme is the very bright “special needs” children. These kids are our future potential Einsteins. see
For them, acceleration and hence partial segregation from the mainstream is proven to be beneficial. I can’t see how this would not apply to the low end as well.
Pauline is stupid but she has created a debate.

NDIS is a potential disaster, a body to take over funding at a date to be announced and other contributing bodies cutting off funding as soon as it was announced before the roll out dates were set, result is now a massive lack of funding and some service providers up to their arses in debt as they have insufficient funding to provide the service they have contracted to provide.
Was a rush job with little research or proper administration resulting in some families losing a lot of money for what they have paid for without funding due to mismanagement.
Hopefully one day soon it will be sorted out.

When I went to school in the 70’s there were ‘special schools’ for ‘those kids’. My kids had special needs kids integrated in their classes in the 90’s, and I think they had much more acceptance overall than we did. As a teacher in HS kids are quite accepting of special needs kids - less so of 'rangas and fat kids which is a shame. People with a range of challenges are part of society as a whole, so why not prepare kids in school to be compassionate citizens. If you need to know something about a topic just find the right kid with Aspergers or Autism. As an aside, I know a few teachers who are definitely on the spectrum. There is strength in that single-minded focus.

@Castaway said in Pauline in the poo again:

just find the right kid with Aspergers or Autism.

All the same thing now and covered under the big umbrella of broad spectrum autism, the ‘broad spectrum’ was introduced some years ago although still refer to one group as Aspergers Syndrome.
A bit like Manic Depression, now Bi-polar disorder with wider boundaries, not one of my specialities but Autism is.
Sorry for being a sanctimonious pedant…

@bunyipS said in Pauline in the poo again:

A bit like Manic Depression, now Bi-polar disorder with wider boundaries, not one of my specialities but Autism is.
Sorry for being a sanctimonious pedant…

Not quite , Manic Depression is totally different to Bi Polar
Some people with Bi-Polar can suffer Manic Depression , but not everyone who has manic depression has Bi-Polar, something I have studied for the last 20+ years
Sorry for being a sanctimonious pedant…


I know nothing about educating children with Autism and my only experience with standard classrooms was my own in the '60s and '70s. There was plenty of disrupters.

However, there has been plenty of studies that say having special needs kids in inclusive classrooms is better for everyone.

Hanson claimed that students with disability have a negative impact on their peers. Yet international research shows otherwise. Some research suggests students with disability have no impact on the learning of other students – whether they are present or not.

Other research shows that students appear to benefit from having disabled peers. They develop greater appreciation for human diversity and capacity for positive relationships.

Hanson also claimed that students with disabilities were better served in separate classrooms or schools. Evidence shows the converse is true. Decades of research has concluded that students with disabilities who learn in inclusive classrooms make far greater progress.

The Conversation

It may well be better that " students with disabilities who learn in inclusive classrooms make far greater progress.", her argument was , (or from her speech I gathered this is what she meant) that students with disabilities who learn in inclusive classrooms make it harder for children without disabilities to learn at the same rate as their peers in classes without students with disabilities .

Now I don’t know what 'International Research", “other Research” or “Decades of research” you are referring to , but I’m sure if asked you could produce pages and pages of Graphs and cherry picked articles to show your right.

Now without spending hours on the net where all that is published is without question, I actually listened to talkback radio and realized this is a problem with two sides, anecdotal as it is and yes the radio has a certain sector of the community who listen and another who voice their opinion. The majority ( and they appeared to be a reasonable cross section , supposedly teachers, parents grandparents etc ) who had experienced first hand and not read all the research, were agreeing that there is a problem and the present methods are not giving the best education results across the board.

As I said I don’t know the answer but to marginalize some kids education for the benefit of a few and not have their parents want a better answer, is a perfect world dream. Trouble we don’t live in a perfect world.


For fuck sake look at the article. There are links to the research. The article was written by a professor and a researcher.

Do you just dismiss evidence if it doesn’t meet your world view?


Almost everyone is ignorant on almost every subject.

This is why I go to sites like the The Conversation or to sites by institutions such as NASA where the details of the research has be distilled down into something I can understand. These all have references to the actual research.

This is how I learn things that are most likely to be correct.

Talk back radio, which I do listen to, is interesting but I don’t rely on the anecdotal evidence that is said because of the first sentence of this post. There are experts who speak about items and I will give them greater weight on any subject.

Uninformed opinion is just that, uninformed.

Reading article by experts in a field can make informed, at least from a layman’s point of view.

Professor and a researcher be fucked, my Daughter inlaw is a deputy head of a primary school with disabled kids in with the standard kids in the classes, I’ll take horses mouth information from her before one of Dogs so called experts.

@tolovar said in Pauline in the poo again:

Not quite , Manic Depression is totally different to Bi Polar

It changed several years ago to avoid the confusion with the word ‘depression’ so as not to confuse it with clinical depression.



Ah such distain for evidence and science. A sample size of one is completely useless from a statistical point of view.

Of course you won’t believe anything that doesn’t fit b your world view.

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