Public services for children with special needs: Discrimination by diagnosis?
Article first published online: 18 JAN 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2012 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 48, Issue 1, pages 2–5, January 2012
How to Cite
McDowell, M. and O'Keeffe, M. (2012), Public services for children with special needs: Discrimination by diagnosis?. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 48: 2–5. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2011.02394.x
- Issue published online: 18 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 18 JAN 2012
- Accepted for publication 20 October 2011.
- government service;
- special need
In July 2011, the Australian federal government announced expansion of early intervention funding. Children diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome and hearing and vision impairments are now eligible in addition to the existing funding for children diagnosed with autistic disorders. By deciding who gets the funding according to a set of accepted diagnoses, many children with equivalent if not greater levels of early intervention special need are excluded. In this viewpoint, we consider the fairness of this approach, and argue that while it may make sense from a political point of view, it is hard to justify, and possibly even discriminatory, from clinical, ethical and legal perspectives.