OPINION: Assistant's praise for Hervey Bay Special School
I FELT inclined to respond when I read the article about Daniel White and his parents' experience when visiting Hervey Bay Special School.
Firstly, there was hardly enough information to make a proper decision as to whether it was a case of negligence, on the part of the special school staff or not.
It does not say if it happened more than once or if Daniel has other siblings - neither of which really impacts on this story, but may hint at extra scrutiny at home and in other environments.
As a former nurse and teacher aide, and the mother of children with disabilities, hearing impairment and Autism Spectrum Disorder with epilepsy, I myself have adopted and seen employed practices such as these in other schools and hospitals over the years.
A seat belt is the safest, gentlest and least undignified measure for one who may wander or be privy to harm in a school setting that caters for others in a classroom, staff and peers alike.
Over the course of two decades, I have seen huge improvements at special school settings, that may still need to employ safety measures such as these, that comply with school policy and procedures.
No longer are bandages used to tie limbs to bedposts in hospitals for example. The days when funding for adequate teacher assistant/student ratio happens, is the day these restraints may eventually fade out.
After all, in the picture in the Fraser Coast Chronicle, the parents' own hands are used, gently, to restrain Daniel.
There aren't enough hands to go round for this to happen all the time in a special school classroom, albeit 4-6 students per class.
Their hands, their eyes, their ears are constantly assisting our children to facilitate their care and learning.
Hervey Bay Special School is a tremendous school and the staff give 110%.
Enough for me to recommend them to the Education Department for their wonderful advocacy for our children who need above-average care and a more-than-decent education.
Learning Support Assistant