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(Australia) SPED "growing exponentially"

July 1, 2017, The Australian: Special needs education calls for co-operative effort http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/special-needs-education-calls-for-cooperative-effort/news-story/4c0837dcc8efac3ad711bfe513d76f75 This demoralised principals and teachers, especially those in special schools that have long been underfunded, are not adequately recorded in National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy ¬results, were never properly consulted, and then were compromised by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority when the national curriculum was being designed. ... However, the most pressing issue at the moment is the significant escalation in the number of students with various forms of ¬intellectual disability, probably now of the order of 12 per cent of the total Australian school population and growing exponentially. Autism is the most discussed form of this disability but there are many others. There seems to be little research on the causes of this growth in numbers although medical evidence suggests that foetal and hindered early childhood experience are key.