Autistic students contract COVID. Sydney autism school should not have been open.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Australia and NZ (ASAN AUNZ) was extremely disappointed and concerned at the situation reported recently that indicated that more than a dozen students and staff at a Gladesville School had tested positive for Covid 19.

They contend that the school for Autistic children should not have been operating amid a Sydney wide lockdown due to the current COVID outbreak.

The Autistic students are likely to have high support needs adding to the distress for students and families affected.

Katharine Annear, speaking on behalf of ASAN AUNZ, believes there should have been greater provision and access to supports, for families, rather than risking exposure in an educational setting for those students. ASAN AUNZ needs answers as to where the NDIS response is for those families that are extremely isolated and is demanding answers and a level of accountability for this situation.

Steps should be taken to identify the students and families and place immediate supports in their homes to cater for the needs of students and families. The NDIS should work in partnership with NSW Health, the federal Health Department and the school to provide an adequate response to this distressing situation.

For comment please contact Katharine Annear Operations Manager on 0400 003 656