The mother of five disabled children says one was so scared of school he was given a photo of his mum and dad to take with him every day as a promise that he would come home, Australian Associated Press reports.
She said some days her middle child’s anxiety was so bad he would sit terrified in the car and refuse to go through the school gates, the disability commission was told during public hearings in Townsville on Tuesday. His older brother had a phobia about using the school toilet and was also bullied so relentlessly, he took a knife to school to keep tormenters at bay.
His sister was anxious in a different way, staying up until 3am every day to make sure her homework was perfect. The fourth struggles to process conversation and can’t filter what her classmates say.
Their mother told the commission it had been an exhausting battle trying to get teachers to adjust to dealing with disabled children.
The woman, who is also a special education teacher, said she tried to put systems in place to manage her children’s anxiety – giving them fidget spinners, telling them to calm down in the library, to stand back when class was too noisy, and to wear a hat when the fluorescent lights became too much.