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Have a heart, Miranda

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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  1. gee

    miranda devine has a disability, she is a nutbag.

  2. Vote Labor

    I know you meant well and Miranda Devine is quite the piece of work but using “nutbag” in the context of speaking about disability is, well, off.

  3. galacticpresident

    I don’t think a heart is the only thing she’s missing if she’s managed to come to that conclusion … what a numbskull

  4. Lee

    There’s a page on Facebook called Miranda Devine is a worthless oxygen thief. Says it all really. She makes Andrew Bolt look like a boy scout. Don’t let her live rent free inside your head. She isn’t worth the effort.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Perhaps someone would like to direct Ms Devine away from the poison and towards some facts.

    The 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) estimated that 4.2 million Australians, or 18.5% of the population, had a disability. SDAC defines disability as any limitation, restriction or impairment which restricts everyday activities and has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least six months. In 2012 the prevalence of disability in Australia remained steady at 18.5% compared with 2009 (when the survey was last conducted). After removing the effects of different age structures, the age standardised rate was 17.4% in 2012. This compares to 17.7% in 2009 and 19.8% in 2003.

    To qualify for the NDIS Early Intervention Program you must
    “•have an impairment or condition that is likely to be permanent (lifelong); or
    •be a child under 6 years of age with a developmental delay and the delay means you usually need more help with your self-care, communication, learning or motor skills than another child of the same age.”

    As Jane points out, early intervention has proven benefits.

    As for Miranda Devine – see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.

  6. Lee

    I doubt that Miranda has ever written anything based on fact in her entire career.

  7. Kaye Lee

    The one in five was “government schools” which is all the more reason to reinstate Gonski funding because it is the public system that overwhelmingly provides education for children with special needs.

    “Nearly one in five students in government schools is classified as disabled — yet only 13.6 per cent are getting assistance and just 6.2 per cent attract additional funding. The increase has been driven by a surge in cases of autism­ and fetal alcohol syndrome, combined with a broader definition of disability to include learning disorders such as dyslexia, plus life-threatening allergies and even diabetes.

    A national audit ordered by federal, state and territory education ministers has revealed that 19.4 per cent of students nat­ionally have a disability or learning difficulty — ranging from 25.3 per cent in Queensland to 17 per cent in Victoria and Western Australia, 18.6 per cent in NSW and 21 per cent in South Australia.”

  8. Colin

    Miranda’s article went up at 6:00am today (16 March) and as at 8:41pm today here have been no comments on her blog. Even the Telly’s brain-dead readership couldn’t be bothered reading and/or responding to it. Can I suggest the more discerning readership here take a leaf from their book.

    “Oxygen thief” doesn’t come close …

  9. Lee

    We have an increasing population, therefore even if the rate of disabilities may stay roughly the same, the total number of cases is increasing.

    What Devine’s simplistic approach also fails to recognise is that people who are now aged in their 30s or older may have flown under the radar at school because teachers weren’t informed and didn’t recognise learning disabilities. Students were considered to be stupid or naughty. I have an auditory processing disorder. It appeared halfway through high school when the teaching style changed. Suddenly I went from straight As to failing grades. It was distressing to me because I had no idea why I was suddenly struggling, and I had my father expressing his disapproval and teachers telling me I was capable of much better. Fortunately I found my own coping mechanisms, which I’ve used through university and also in my professional life. If I didn’t find my own way, I would have failed high school, because nobody else recognised my problem. But there are still some situations, like workplace training, where I really struggle and have to go away afterwards and teach myself. My Asperger’s wasn’t diagnosed until adulthood either. Many girls fly under the radar because they are more inclined to mimic other girls in order to fit in, whereas boys tend to act out in frustration and are often detected at a younger age. When I went to school, teachers didn’t know about Asperger’s.

    My partner is dyslexic. That also wasn’t recognised when he went to school. He failed year 4 and was on target to fail year 9 when his mother suggested leaving school and getting a job before the end of the year, when he’d have to compete with other school leavers. He’s a very intelligent man, very resourceful, has a good knowledge of undergraduate level physics and he designs electronic equipment. Most days he checks out educational resources online and is always looking for something new to learn. He was written off at school as being stupid.

    These disabilities appear to have increased exponentially largely because we’re educating teachers to recognise them, not because people are looking for handouts.

  10. kerri

    May I suggest Miranda educate herself about the benefits of Autism to society? Observe Temple Grandin. Sorry! Professor Temple Grandin. Dr. Professor Temple Grandin. Had she not been given adequate opportunities to explore her interests what would this world be missing? Had she been given the opportunities to excel at a much earlier age, how much more could she have achieved.
    Miranda Devine is neither Professor nor Dr but simply a narrow minded opinionista who does not deserve anyone’s time or attention.

  11. jim

    Hey great post , to me it seems that we are not up to the standards that the Liberal party folk live in as I’m sure as hell I’ve never seen this “standard” these folk live in, hopefully one day their “standard” will be understood by the rest of us, for now though that day seems along way away I wonder will we ever realize the “standard” that they live in?

  12. Lee

    Temple Grandin is awesome. And as she says, the world needs autistic people because if was left up to the neurotypicals, nothing would be achieved. 😉

    There’s a list here of famous, talented people who either have/had Asperger’s or are suspected cases.

  13. Salstarat

    The inane, vindictive comment made by Miranda not-so-Devine is just about what you would expect from a no-talent, Z-rated hack who is nothing more than a whore to the fascist LNP and a tawdry mouthpiece to Murdoch’s fascist, neoliberal propaganda! Devine has a long, discredited history as one of the worst, most hysterical and hatefully vicious scribblers on Murdoch’s infamous garbage wrap rags. Clearly, any connection with what this vile harridan puts to paper and reality, fact or non-fiction is by pure chance or misadventure! It appears that Slander Devine has received a demotion of sorts … being pulled from one cheap and nasty rag, The Australian, down-down-down to the gutter sniping, nauseating and thoroughly trashy rag, The Daily Smellograph. Needless to say, Devine BELONGS with this truly awful sensationalistic tabloid which excels in character assassinating lies, hyperbole, slander and unspeakable bias towards ultra right wing neoliberal fascists like Abbott.

    Devine’s puerile, flippant and callous remark about the disabled is yet ANOTHER pathetic attempt to be “controversial” in order to get the attention that Devine so desperately seeks. In Devine’s tiny little mind, even gross NEGATIVE attention is better than none. Sadly, this nasty piece of work hasn’t got the intellect nor compassion to realise that she is about as relevant as a screen door on a submarine. Really, who CARES what this purveyor of putrid propaganda has to say about ANYTHING … ignore her! Most intelligent people I know haven’t purchased a Murdoch rag in decades because they, like myself, really want to KNOW what is going on in the world and NOT the twisted, depraved view according to the fascist LNP/Murdoch/IPA Alliance.

  14. Lee

    And those are her good points!

  15. Glenn K

    I think most if not all of you have missed Miranda’s spellcheck error. She meant to type “LNP MP’s” not “students” and “election” not “NDIS”.
    Now she makes much more sense.

  16. diannaart

    These disabilities appear to have increased exponentially largely because we’re educating teachers to recognise them, not because people are looking for handouts.

    Excellent point, Lee.

    Too much Miranda, not enough “Divine”.

  17. Deanna Jones

    That is some seriously ignorant hate speech even by her own ‘standards’. Fancy spruiking hate speech at children. Rates of ASD diagnoses have increased over years, for a number of reasons, advances in technology and diagnostic tools for one but also awareness of non neurotypical people in society. That we are working towards inclusion of autistic people and people with disabilities is a sign of an evolved and humane society. Devine must be very desperate indeed to be aiming her poison pen at children with disabilities.

  18. John Kelly

    Miranda is the female equivalent of Andrew Bolt. That pretty much says it all.

  19. Adrianne Haddow

    Ironically, I remember Miranda Devine being appointed (along with other luminaries) by the Howard government to review the education system back in the dim dark years. Then I wondered why she was included.

    One can see the sort of educational expertise she exhibits in her latest vitriolic offering.
    The same as her amount of empathy and understanding of the diversity of student needs.

    @ Salstarat. Spot on assessment of the ‘not so divine’ Devine

  20. Michael Taylor

    Indeed, John. I often wonder if they are the same person. Funny too that the vilest writers in our mainstream media just happen to work for the Mutdoch stable.

  21. Sir ScotchMistery

    Michael thank you for that.

    “Writer”, or even “typist” are much more apt when discussing either of those two pan-handlers or in fact most of the mounts in the murdoch press.

  22. Shane

    Miranda is a vile creature who is her masters whore

  23. Vince O'Grady

    Jane, Thanks for your article. The lowest common denominater against the Murdoch Journos is their inability to handle the truth about the society we live in. They know nothing about Disability and even go out of their way to deny that it even exists. Just like the people they write for, the Liberals. I am amazed at these people. They all claim to be Christians but haven’t studied that book either. far from being the most exciting place to be for people with a disability, Australia, under a Liberal/National Government is an horrific place to be. Made worse by the changes made to the Senate voting rules which passed parliament today. If any Murdoch Journalists are reading this comment, the proven facts about those on a disability support pension can be found here. There are a few years covered. If you need help understanding the data then Direct message me and I will help you.

  24. Pingback: Herald Sun accuses Facebook users of trying to rort NDIS - Glycerine Queen Media

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