PARENTS of autistic children are suing the state government for failing to provide learning assistance at mainstream schools.

Students with autism spectrum disorders win government funding for a classroom assistant if they have a speech delay. Children who speak capably, but without social or emotional understanding, are generally refused funding and decipher the world unaided.

Disability discrimination advocates have told The Sunday Age at least seven parents have had their complaints against the state government over autism funding referred to the Federal Court.

They are suing under discrimination law, arguing that the withholding of funds means their children are not getting the necessary support in the class.