Mom & 10-Year-Old Son Face Deportation Because He Has Autism

World Autism Awareness Day hasn't simply opened our eyes to Autism Spectrum Disorders, it has also exposed many of the injustices faced by parents of children who suffer from the uncurable condition. One story is so atrocious it's hard to believe: a mother and her 10-year-old son may be deported from the only home he has ever known in Australia because the child's autism diagnosis is viewed as a burden upon society.


Maria Sevilla brought her son, Tyrone, to Australia from their native Philippines when he was 2 so that she could seek work as a skilled nurse. Despite living there for eight years and reportedly pulling her weight and proving a productive member of Australian society, the government denied Sevilla a skilled working visa in 2014 and, just recently, rejected her request again.

Sevilla says the government's reason for trying to deport her is that they fear her son will grow up and become a citizen and that his autism will be a "burden" to taxpayers.

If this is true, it's incredibly heartless and callous. This mom isn't sitting around asking for people to provide for her—she is doing what she can to make her child's life better and ensure he grows up and can take care of himself and put his talents and skills to good use. She reportedly pays taxes and has private health insurance. She's playing by the rules and doesn't deserve this.

More from The Stir: Mom Says She's Found Autism Cure: Would You Try It?

It's obviously horrific to imply any child is a "burden," but it's also a hard pill to swallow judging by the numbers. It can cost a family $50,000 a year to provide autism-related education and healthcare. Meanwhile, federal funding in the country reportedly provides about $12,000 per child per year, which is about enough to cover one hour of early intervention per week of the minimum of 20 hours that are recommended.

Sevilla is trying to overturn the goverment's decision and has created a petition that currently has more than 67,000 supporters. If the decision sticks, she and Tyrone could be deported in 28 days.

Do you think this mom and her son have the right to stay in Australia?


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