Labor's Emma Husar, whose 10 year old son Mitch is on the autism spectrum, has demanded apologies from Pauline Hanson, slamming her for suggesting autistic kids should be separated in Australian classrooms because they 'hold back' other kids.
Walking into parliament this morning, Husar said she was feeling angry, upset and disappointed.
"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; that they don't belong in a mainstream classroom, and calling on them to be segregated,"
Husar's son Mitch is now in mainstream schooling, but that wasn't always the case.
"He was diagnosed when he was 18 months, and I was told that he would never speak; that I should never expect that he could play in sports team with his age-match peers, or that he could be included in a mainstream class,"
"But he is -- and he does very, very well."
The Western Sydney MP wants Hanson to say sorry.
"She owes an apology to every single autistic child in this country; to every one of the parents, like me, because we have got better things to be doing than defending our kids,"
"She owes an apology to 164,000 Australians who have autism spectrum disorder – the children and the adults who have been told for a long time that they don't belong."
"And, I've got one thing to say to every single child on the autism spectrum, who is going into a classroom today -- whether that is a mainstream class, whether that's a support unit, or whether that's a school with a specific purpose -- that you matter," she said. "That you can be included, and 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."