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School Can't is not the same as truancy - sometimes called 'wagging school' or 'bunking off'. 

Truancy is when the student pretends to parents/carers/guardians that they attend school, when they do not.


School Can't is when students do not hide their unwillingness to go to school or that they are not attending. Parents/carers/guardians of a child who experiences School Can't know that their child is not at school. 

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The Autistic Realm Australia Inc (TARA) is preparing a submission to the Inquiry. We would like to collect some information to make sure that 

  • School Can't is fully understood by the Inquiry and 

  • the effects on Autistic children and their families are heard

We need to make it clear that School Can't may have been made worse by COVID, but it is a much longer- standing issue for Autistic children and current responses are failing them.

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By Everyday Autistics

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Kylieanne, Anna & Kathy

"This painting is of Kylieanne Derwent, Anna Cristina and Kathy Isaacs, these 3 women who started TARA (The Autistic Realm Australia). They are amazing. They are all Autistic parents with Autistic children and they volunteer their time helping countless others to understand themselves and they parent in tune with their Autistic child’s needs.

They also educate around advocating for radical inclusion in terms of gender and sexuality.

They offer support to those who need it as well as share their personal insights. They lift others up, creating opportunities and promoting others continuously.

They have supported me profoundly. Commissioning artwork whilst offering encouragement and understanding and inviting me to apply for opportunities I would never have otherwise been aware of, eg. creating the artwork for the Attorney-General of Australia’s Disability and Mental Health Action Plan 2022.

As part of TARA they run a parent support group, an adult peer support group, engage in research and advocacy and showcase ‘Autist in Residence’ profiles (of which I have been a recipient).

They have created a home for people like me to flourish.


Somewhere for me to come to accept and understand myself and recognise my strengths.

Freya Pinney - Autistic Artist