November 2013



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Archive for November, 2013

Wollongong Campus- Australia Study Abroad


Updated 1 hour 21 minutes ago


The South Australian Government has promised to build a second Adelaide High School campus.


It said a city site for a campus for 1,000 students was yet to be chosen but would open in 2019.


The current Royal Adelaide Hospital site might be considered.


Inner suburbs including Bowden, Kurralta Park, Gilberton and Torrensville are to be brought into the Adelaide High School zone when a second campus opens.


Ovingham, Prospect, Fitzroy and Thorngate will become part of the Adelaide High zone sooner, in 2015.


The Government also said it was planning a special education precinct at the University of South Australia’s Magill campus and would talk to Norwood-Morialta High School about moving that school to the precinct.



New teachers will need greater qualifications from 2020 under changes proposed by the South Australian Government.


Education Minister Jennifer Rankine says all new teachers will need to have a two-year Masters degree on top of other qualifications.


Primary or middle-school teachers currently must have a four-year Bachelor degree.


A senior secondary school teacher needs to have a three-year speciality degree such as science and a teaching qualification which can take up to two years.


Ms Rankine said the planned changes would ensure teachers were highly skilled.


“If we want our children to come out of school being the best we have to make sure we have fantastic teachers in our schools, which we do currently, but they need to have the best qualifications that can be provided,” she said.


Premier Jay Weatherill would not be drawn on what the Government might be prepared to pay better-qualified teachers.


“Well these are the discussions we are going to have with the relevant representatives of teachers,” he said.


Mr Weatherill said teachers in countries such as Finland, where high levels of qualification were required, were not paid more than in other countries but had high status within the community “and so the best and brightest are attracted into the teaching profession”.

School with autism focus


South Australia’s first school aimed at children with autism spectrum disorders will open in 2015, backed by funding from Anglicare and the SA Government.


It will cater for 45 students and operate at the campus of the Ashford Special School when it moves to a new site.


The organisation Treetop will run the school.


Chairman John Dagas expects it will grow over time.


“It’ll start off as a R-to-9 initially, at this stage, but then it continue growing as the needs sort of increases and these children grow.” he said.


The Government previously argued against segregating children with autism from regular schools but Premier Jay Weatherill said that had changed.


“We’ve certainly been persuaded that this is the right thing to do, that’s why we’re getting in behind it,” he said.


Opposition education spokesman David Pisoni said he was pleased the Government had taken the idea on board but he thought there should be a larger school.




Dorothy Vasilakis with her autistic son Christiaan Dramisino at Ashford Special School earlier this year. Picture: Calum Robe...

Dorothy Vasilakis with her autistic son Christiaan Dramisino at Ashford Special School earlier this year. Picture: Calum Robertson Source: News Corp Australia


SA gets its first school for autistic students – Treetop Autism Specific School will open for 45 students in Ashford in 2015

  • The Advertiser
  • November 25, 2013 5:42PM


A SCHOOL for students with autism spectrum disorders will open in South Australia in 2015 following a campaign by parents.


Treetop Autism Specific School will cater for 45 students in years reception to nine.


It will be based in Ashford, on the current site of the Ashford special school, which is relocating to Plympton.

The Advertiser has covered the campaign by mother of two Fiora Christou and other parents with autistic children for such a school since last year.


South Australia is the only state without a specialised education facility for students with the developmental disability.


Treetop board chairman John Dagas said students with autism would not spend their entire schooling life there.


Instead, they would “opt in and out” as they needed extra support, before hopefully returning to a mainstream school, he said.


Mr Dagas said 45 places would not be enough to meet demand initially but he hoped that would grow over time.


Ms Christou – whose son Andreas, 11, has autism and attends a special school – said families of about 550 students had indicated they would like their children to attend the school.


“There’s obviously a need for a specialised education service that looks at the child as an individual … and caters for the way that they need to be taught,” she said.


“Within a mainstream school they don’t have the resources, the time nor the money nor the experience in teaching children with autism.


“We just want to give everybody another choice.”


The State Government is providing the school site at low rent and a $100,000 grant to help establish the school.



The Government says construction of the $9.5 million centre is due to be completed “soon”.


It will cater for 105 Reception to Year 12 students with special needs.


Take My Hand


05:52 Monday 25 November 2013




An expert from Cambridge University has said he is underwhelmed by the Government’s efforts to improve support for people with autism.


Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, director of Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre, said the optimism brought on by the Autism Act has been diminished by a lack of spending – and suggested punishing regions who do not offer a good enough service.


In an interview with John Bercow MP, who has a son with autism, at a National Autistic Society (NAS) event, Prof Baron-Cohen said he was most concerned about the Government’s policy of “decentralisation”, which means no-one takes responsibility for monitoring or naming and shaming regions that are failing.


He said: “The Autism Act in 2009 was a cause of celebration, because at last people with autism – especially adults who had been under the radar for services and support – were finally being discussed by the House of Commons. But four years on, Baron-Cohen, who accepts it is still early days, is worried.


He added: “All the Autism Act did was to call on the Department of Health to implement an autism strategy. That was fine, although it left the details to be worked out.


“In 2010, the DH published the Autism Strategy and on paper it looked good. But good intentions – to ensure rapid access to diagnosis, and a quick route to the clinical pathway of receiving life-long post-diagnosis support – need extra spending, and even penalties on those regions that are not delivering an excellent service.


“Regretfully, in too many parts of the country, services are still very patchy.”


A NAS survey found too many adults with the condition are still waiting for support. It revealed 77 per cent of respondents need help managing money, but only 4 per cent receive support.






ASAN is proud to announce that Empowering Leadership is now available on our website as a free PDF! This book is an introduction to campus activism written for and by students with disabilities who want to organize on their campus. Co-published by ASAN and The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, Empowering Leadership includes guides on navigating a disability services program, handling discrimination on campus, networking, accommodations, and more.


Young people with disabilities who want to make change at their school — either by forming a group to tackle broader social issues or by advocating for disability rights on campus — face many barriers to making that happen. The established routines and methods for achieving specific kinds of change are not widely known. ASAN  and The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation wanted to change this, so we have created a new resource aimed at speaking directly to young adults with disabilities who wish to navigate activism and advocacy at their school–and now that resource is free online!


Empowering Leadership is available as a free printer-friendly PDF, but if you prefer a physical paperback copy, it’s also available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you have any questions or are interested in arranging a bulk order of print copies of Empowering Leadership, feel free to contact Julia Bascom, ASAN’s Director of Programs, at jbascom@autisti cadvocacy.org.

12 Ways to Be Thankful

By Therese J. Borchard

To get us in the mood for the Thanksgiving Holiday!

Cicero said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” The English preacher John Henry Jowett wrote that “every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” And according to Aseop Fables, “gratitude is the sign of noble souls.” A dear professor of mine just acknowledged a thank-you note I sent him and told me that “gratitude is the sign of maturity and wisdom.”

I don’t feel like I’m very good at gratitude. This virtue comes hard to a depressive whose first thoughts are seldom positive. It has only been with much work and lots of practice that I have been able to cultivate gratitude and be genuinely thankful. Here are 12 techniques I use to help me get to the parent of all virtues.

Read in Full: 

 Chapel of Thanksgiving
Creating a Peaceful Holiday for your Family

Buck Black, LCSW Updated: Nov 18th 2009

Aren’t holidays great?  There are presents, food, time off work (for those fortunate enough), and time with family.  However, the time with family can quickly turn into disagreements, which then lead to out right fighting.  Its all too often the times we all think should be enjoyed turn into episodes of family drama.

Before getting together with family this holiday season, think about the triggers that cause these family problems.  Maybe Uncle Bobby is the one who starts problems by drinking too much.  Possibly it is Aunt Mildred who starts on a rant because Uncle Bobby is drinking too much, which then sends him into a defensive rant.  Maybe there are past resentments that have not been dealt with since the previous year(s) and they are now resurfacing while everyone sits down to the table.  I think you get the point…there can be a multitude of problems that can cause a family to dinner to become a scene of dysfunction.

What can you do different this year?  Identify those triggers that have caused anger and/or arguments in the family and approach things differently this year.  Is there a need to hold family gatherings at a different location?  Would having an alcohol-free family get together likely make the day more pleasant?

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Related Articles:

Thanksgiving Day Kids
Inclusive Thanksgiving Tips

Monica J. Foster

Thanksgiving is a day brimming over with delectable food choices and dear family moments to cherish forever. A disability isn’t a barrier to that, nor should it be thought of as an extra stressor to anyone else’s fun. Planning and patience in advance is the secret to it all.

No matter what the challenges are, set in your mind that it won’t overshadow the festivities. Whether you want to help out in the kitchen preparing the day’s meal or simply share time with family you haven’t seen in a forever, there are several places where careful thought can alleviate bad feelings.

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Children’s Thanksgiving Art & Craft Sites 

“Enchanted Learning”
“Thanksgiving Activities for Kids – Includes Crafts, Coloring, Art, Recipes & Dinner”
“Thanksgiving for Kids – Activities, Printables & Crafts!”
“Thanksgiving Activities for Kids & Teachers”
“DLTK’s Thanksgiving Activities”
“Thanksgiving Games & Activities ~ Free Kid’s Games, Coloring, Online Jigsaw Puzzles & Other Children’s Activities”

Thanksgiving Social Story

social story

Thanksgiving Social Story from Slater Software:


First Thanksgiving
History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Recipes 







Additional Articles

“Don’t Let Your Thanksgiving Turn Into A Real Turkey, Tips For Avoiding Stress-Outs”: