Autism pro­gram for Ea­ton col­lege

South Western Times - - News - Emily Ace

Ea­ton Com­mu­nity Col­lege will be­come the first re­gional sec­ondary school in the State to pro­vide a spe­cial­ist autism pro­gram from 2019.

The pro­gram pro­vides spe­cial­ist and in­ten­sive sup­port to stu­dents with autism who have the in­tel­lec­tual ca­pac­ity to learn the main­stream cur­ricu­lum, but who have spe­cific so­cial and emo­tional de­vel­op­ment needs.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Sue Ellery made the an­nounce­ment on Tues­their day, fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pro­gram in Cooinda Pri­mary School.

Prin­ci­pal Anne Fletcher said the pro­gram be­gan at the start of the year and while it was early days, the suc­cess was ev­i­dent.

“The over­whelm­ing feed­back has been around the pos­i­tive change in at­ten­dance, so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and en­gage­ment, the sup­port they have felt as a fam­ily and the sense of col­lec­tively work­ing from what the stu­dents are good at do­ing,” Mrs Fletcher said.

“Par­ents have shared per­sonal high­lights in­clud­ing cel­e­brat­ing their child’s first in­vi­ta­tion to a birth­day party and their first play date, achieved in years 5 and 6.

“The teach­ers have also noted the in­creased aca­demic en­gage­ment and achieve­ment.”

Mrs Fletcher said the pro­gram open­ing at Ea­ton Com­mu­nity Col­lege next year would al­low a seam­less pro­vi­sion of ser­vice from kinder­garten to Year 12.

“The two schools will pro­vide the same pro­gram, sharing a com­mon and fun­da­men­tal phi­los­o­phy and work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively to bridge the tran­si­tion years,” she said.“The pro­gram sup­ports the op­por­tu­nity to en­able chil­dren with autism to be happy and suc­cess­ful in all as­pects of their life, at school and into the fu­ture.”

Ea­ton Com­mu­nity Col­lege pro­gram coordinator He­lene Fuller said the school would un­dergo ren­o­va­tions to ac­com­mo­date the pro­gram, which had 18 places avail­able.

“We have spe­cialised teach­ers and ed­u­ca­tion as­sis­tants who will be as­sist­ing stu­dents to ac­cess main­stream class as well as hav­ing own home room which is open at all times,” Mrs Fuller said.

“It is a part­ner­ship be­tween the main­stream teacher and the spe­cialised teacher, be­cause we still want those stu­dents to feel part of the school com­mu­nity and part of the class­room. It is very much a fluid process in­di­vid­u­alised to the needs of each stu­dent.”

“It is a very ex­cit­ing pro­gram and hope­fully we get peo­ple ap­ply­ing.”

Mrs Fuller said stu­dents from out­side the Ea­ton catch­ment area could also ap­ply.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.