Hanson under fire over disabled kids

Hanson told the Senate on Wednesday that disabled and autistic children should be taught in separate classrooms where they could be "given special attention" because Australia couldn't "afford to hold our kids back".

Labor's Emma Husar, who has a 10-year-old son, Mitch, on the autism spectrum, has demanded an apology from the One Nation leader, saying her comments are "ill-informed" and created to divide the Australian community.

Students with disabilities should be removed from mainstream classrooms because they are putting a strain on teachers and schools, One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson has told parliament.

Roy said Hanson's comments "harken back to statements made in Nazi Germany".

"Kids like my son Mitch, who's 10 and autistic".

"But he is and he does very, very well".

Announcing her party's support for the government Education Reform Bill yesterday, Hanson called for children with "disabilities and autism" to be given a "special classroom" because, she said, teachers were now spending disproportionate amounts of time on children teaching these children, at the expense of "other kids who want to learn".

But she also said "we need to get rid of" autistic children from mainstream classrooms, arguing teachers had to spend too much time with them at the expense of other students' education. That you matter. That you can be included, and that you ought to be included.

"And, that even on the days that are hard - when you're frustrated, and your disability makes you angry - you are still better than she is on her best day".

"I'm disappointed that in 2017 we've got people like Senator Hanson sitting over there in the Senate making ill-informed comments about kids that are autistic", Ms Husar said in Canberra on Thursday.

Labor frontbencher Tony Burke labelled the speech not only as "horrific, mean [and] cruel" but also "typical" of the One Nation leader.

"Her comments show such a misunderstanding of what autism is".

"Those comments are very wrong".

"I think one of the descriptions that was provided of Senator Hanson's comment was that they were archaic and that's absolutely right".

Ms Rogerson said Senator Hanson would do well to realise there were 160,000 Australians with autism and accused her of turning her back on the "battlers" she claimed to represent.

"I'm supportive of children with autism in standard classes", he told Sky News, adding he believed her description of children with autism as being disruptive was irrelevant because all children were capable of misbehaving at times.

But before her time expired, Senator Hanson declared: "Let's deal with the issue now".

  • Leroy Wright