Autism inquiry to visit EdSpace
04 November 2016
Friday 4 November 2016
A Parliamentary Inquiry into autism will visit Benalla’s EdSpace later this month in response to an invitation from Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan.
Ms Ryan wrote to the committee overseeing the Inquiry Into Services for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder in August to invite them to visit the school and learn more about the work being done in the Benalla community.
Ms Ryan has also spoken with the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Autism Spectrum Disorder Bernie Finn who is interested in visiting the school.
“I'm certain the committee will get a lot out of speaking with teachers and staff at EdSpace,” Ms Ryan said.
“Families of children with autism, particularly in regional Victoria face significant challenges when it comes to accessing support services.
“The inquiry hopes to identify and address the gaps in service provision and I believe there is a lot to be learned from the great work EdSpace is doing.”
Ms Ryan said EdSpace was evidence of the fact that early intervention was highly effective in assisting children with autism.
“EdSpace offers evidence based innovative educational programs and clinical services,” Ms Ryan said.
“For students who may struggle in mainstream schooling, EdSpace offers an alternative and I commend the work being done by principal Maggie Fanning and staff."
EdSpace Principal Maggie Fanning welcomed the visit.
“We welcome the visit by the committee, and the opportunity to provide its members with a perspective from EdSpace students and their families,” Ms Fanning said.
“This facility was set up to support students with different environmental and social needs, and uses a strengths based, student led approach and a close working relationship between health and education which helps to manage of some the complexities that can arise within an educational setting for these students.”
Ms Ryan said the continued support of the Benalla community was critical to the school's ability to continue to deliver a service that had been life changing for local families.
"EdSpace celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Benalla Better Bike Hike a few weeks ago which raises funds to support the school, this year raising over $4,000.”
The committee will visit EdSpace on Monday 14 November.
To find out more information on the inquiry, visit http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/fcdc/inquiry/400