By Jane Salmon
Miranda Devine’s article ‘The curious case of NDIS and the autism boom’ made me sad enough to cry. Then It made me cross.
Gee, I don’t think being permanently challenged by learning or behavioural or physical differences is trendy. I think it is frustrating, expensive and heart-breaking.
Every dollar spent on disability mitigation before a child is 9 saves the state $70 per year when they are 18. (Knapp et al. LSE. Won a Nobel).
So dealing with problems early is the go. More is spent on each person in jail every year than for disability lifelong. I don’t see you worrying about that.
I did the whole organic attachment parenting trip. My children are loved and wanted. I did more right than wrong in terms of gestation. And their father is an engaged parent with 4 degrees and plenty saved. So why are we diagnosed? For money? Nope.
Both my sons are facing ongoing difficulties that I cannot fully imagine.
They were diagnosed after rigorous testing in 2003 and 2005. Not content to take the word of private developmental paediatric specialists and therapists with a vested interest, I also paid to have the diagnosis double checked by government and university clinics.
No funding was available. I had to cover therapies for both and became so stressed that I got sick too. I had so little time or cash for myself that my breast cancer had become an advanced 3b before I even noticed it.
The funding for supports at school are minimal. Gonski for Disabilities is not yet in any budget. The NDIS is not here. It will not cover full accommodation for those with high needs.
Your ignorant cynicism does you and the Telegraph no credit, Miranda. If the NDIS covers even a third of what I spend on therapies, I’ll be very pleasantly surprised. I will still be without the $300k already disbursed
Instead of victim blaming, investigate the various causes of disability and additional needs. Let’s find out how this tragedy has occurred.
And in the meantime, remember that we have a golden opportunity through Full Gonski funding to improve lives. The NDIS will also help if not sold off to greedy profiteers.
Have a heart, Miranda!
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