Why I Belong in Mainstream School

“Parliament is teaching kids that don’t have a disability that they shouldn’t be with kids that do have a disability. I think that’s mean. … my school rules are to be respectful, to be safe and to be a learner. I think parliament should have the same rules. Saying to get rid of kids with Autism is not respectful. When parliament says kids like me should be gotten rid of, I don’t feel safe … a leaders job should be to find ways to make things work, not to get rid of things”.

This week, Australia’s One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson said in parliament that children with disabilities, particularly those with Autism, should be separated out of mainstream classrooms. Cadence listened to the Senators comments on the news. This is nhot a ‘political’ response; it is an Autistic child’s response to what they interpreted from what was said.

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Nine year old Cadence, who is Autistic, was alerted to these comments during a television news break. Cadence, who delights in writing, twirling, patterns, counting and painting, often shares short writings on her experiences as an Autistic child. Her first public piece, ‘Autism is why I am different’,  was published by Kidspot magazine in August 2015, when Cadence was 7 years old, which combined with her prose “Autism Doesn’t mean I’m bad”, was made into a Spanish short film, ‘Acceptance’ (released August 2016).

Read Cadence’s short prose on how words harm Autistic children here.

You can view Senator Hanson’s speech here.

You can visit Cadence’s Facebook page here.

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Cadence typing her letter to Parliament and Senator Hanson.

3 thoughts on “Why I Belong in Mainstream School

  1. Hi Cadence thankyou for your words , I am on the spectrum aswell . I’m also a teacher, you are doing a wownderful job of teaching yourself . Keep writing Cadence the world needs more fearless warrior wordys. I can’t wait to read your other pieces . Thanks again sweet cheeks oxoox

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  2. Cadence, you a wonderful, talented, beautiful little girl. I have a form of autism as well and when I went to school I was treated as a problem. My needs were ignored and I did not do very well. I had to struggle to get anywhere. I wish I had been brave enough to tell people what they were doing was wrong. Something as simple as simple as poor wording or planning greatly affects someone like me, I imagine you’re very aware of this too. I hope one day the world appreciates our differences more, but until then always be yourself, never back down when you know something’s wrong.

    It only takes one person to change the world, regardless of what anyone says. One person’s words can change everything. Thank you, for doing what you believed was right.

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