Friday, 23 August 2013

When Youth Justice and Literacy Collide

Last week I attended the launch of "Back on Track" - a report on a recent "Speech Pathology in Youth (Justice) Custodial Education Project". http://www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au/library/SPyce_Report_FINAL_lores.pdf

It was a report of what Speech Pathology services are currently available in Youth Custodial Education (none) and what is needed to assist these vulnerable youths in their communication skills. (Significant numbers), as can be seen by the prevalence numbers below from the report




From Page 10 SPyce Project report
Table 1. The prevalence of neurodevelopment disorders. (Office of the Children's Commissioner, 2013:23)

 Neurodevelopment disorder

Reported prevalence rates amongst young people in the general population
Reported prevalence rates amongst young people in custody
Learning disabilities (Intellectual Disability)
2–4%
23–32%
Dyslexia
10%
43–57%
Communication disorders
5–7%
60–90%
Attention deficit hyperactive disorder
1.7–9%
12%
Autistic spectrum disorder
0.6–1.2%
15%
Traumatic brain injury
24–31.6%
65.1–72.1%
Epilepsy
0.45–1%
0.7–0.8%
Foetal alcohol syndrome
0.1–5%
10.9–11.7%


Of significance is many of these youth are well below educational standard - suggesting poor skills in literacy, numeracy and using written information to understand or explore their world.

How do these young people access written information? 
What impact would it have in accessing the legal system? Think about:
- knowing what laws are, and what they mean for the individual;
- reading written statements or composing written statements;
- attendance at appointments with police, social workers, or lawyers;
- reading witness statements;
- reading victim impact statements;
- court dates and mediation dates;
- expectations following mediation or community service orders.

Easy English may assist somewhat in these vulnerable youth accessing the information they need now.
Cathy
cathy@accesseasyenglish.com.au 0466 579 855




Reference:
Caire, L. (2013).
Speech Pathology in Youth (Justice) Custodial Education Project Report.
Melbourne: The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited

Weblinks
www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2013/s3694873.htm

www.monash.edu.au/research/people/profiles/profile.html?sid=3672&pid=3478

Speech Pathology Australia www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au



www.theage.com.au/victoria/lessons-at-parkville-beat-school-of-hard-knocks-20120422-1xf4k.html

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