According to estimates, 10% of Australian school children (ages 5 to 18) have a handicap, while this percentage is significantly higher in other regions.
Although the majority of these pupils (89%) attend regular schools, more and more students with disabilities and their families are opting for special schools.
Globally, it is understood that every child has a right to an education.
According to the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, which Australia was one of the original signatories to, children with disabilities must not be excluded from free and compulsory education on the grounds of their impairment.
As a result, educational systems need to think about what inclusion is and how to implement it.
In the 1994 UNESCO Salamanca Statement, the term “inclusion” was first generally promoted for students with disabilities.
This article suggested that inclusive mainstream schools would make it feasible for kids with impairments to integrate.
Australia has a number of laws that strive to include students with intellectual, physical, sensory, or learning challenges in regular classrooms, including the Disability Discrimination Act, the Education Act, and the Disabilities Standards for Education. Read on as we explore the autism schools in Melbourne.
Finding Autism Programs In Your Area
If you reside in a large city, there could be alternative schools that would be ideal for your autistic kid.
Ask your child’s existing teachers and therapists for advice on autism spectrum disorder-specific schools.
Additionally, you might inquire of other parents in your social circles or in your support group for autism.
Additionally, by conducting a search on The Autism Parenting Magazine, you may discover recommendations for local autism programs in your region. You may see a list of every autism program offered in your state there.
What Makes A School Best For Autism
In the end, a school that focuses on autism might not be the greatest option for your child.
The following crucial qualities should be taken into account when selecting a school for your autistic child:
Ratio Of Students To Teachers
Whether they are high- or low-functioning, children with autism will need specialized care from instructors.
Your kid might want more assistance with reading nonverbal cues, utilizing school supplies, paying attention in class, or acting appropriately in public.
Inquire about the student-to-teacher ratio before enrolling in a school to be sure your child will receive the support they need.
Additionally, take into account schools that offer paraprofessionals, or specifically trained assistants, who may fill the gap between your child’s classroom instructor and other students.
Children who fulfill the diagnostic standards and have a medical or educational classification are obliged by law to receive special education services from public schools. These services might consist of:
- Therapy for speech
- Workplace therapy
- Physical exercise
- Adaptive exercise programs
- Specialty instruction
However, there may be differences in the level of assistance your kid receives when comparing schools.
To make sure your child is getting the aid they need, choose a program that fits their requirements or bargain with the school.
Your special needs kid will receive a customized education plan in public schools (IEP).
This strategy outlines how the school will assist your kid in achieving significant objectives in the upcoming years.
Make sure your child will receive this kind of specialized assistance before enrolling them in any school, whether it is public or private.
Policy On Bullying And Autism Education
The school that provides your child with the greatest education is not the only factor to consider; it should also provide emotional support for the student.
Even though autism is a more well recognized illness, some people still do not comprehend it.
Talk to the principal and instructors before choosing a school to make sure they are aware of how autism affects your kid and have the training and experience necessary to provide your child and family with the necessary assistance.
Additionally, kids with autism spectrum disorders may become the targets of bullying, therefore the school has to have a strict anti-bullying policy in place.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act stipulates that a student with a disability must receive their education in the “least restrictive setting,” regardless of the school they attend.
This implies that the kid should be included as much as possible into everyday classroom settings and activities.
When looking at schools, talk to the staff about the least restrictive environment and find out how they apply this guideline into their curriculum.
This makes sure that the program is made to support kids in adjusting to and thriving in the regular school and home setting.
Test Results And School Evaluations
You may have noticed that schools with an autistic focus occasionally get low ratings since many school ranking websites base their rankings on results from standardized tests.
State-mandated examinations are an essential indicator of academic achievement, but they don’t necessarily represent how well children on the autistic spectrum do.
A school specialized in ASD may not be fairly assessed by the average test scores of its pupils, just as your child’s performance on standardized tests may not truly reflect his or her talents.
Asking the staff about poor test scores is a smart idea if you’re searching for a new school and are worried about it.
The List of Top Autism Schools In Melbourne
Checkout list of top autism schools in Melbourne offering curriculum for students with Special Educational Needs (SEN).
Find below the complete list of autism achools in Melbourne Australia offering Special Needs Curriculum with information on Fees, Admission procedure, Facilities and Contact Details.
This list of top best autism schools in Melbourne, Australia covers or caters to students who have special educational needs due to learning difficulties (such as dyslexia), Communication Disorders, Developmental Disabilities (Such as Autism), Physical disabilities or behavioral problems.
- Southern Autistic School
- Western Autistic School
- Northern School for Autism
- Jacana School for Autism
- Giant Steps Melbourne
Southern Autistic School
The teaching of children with autism spectrum disorder and severe language impairments is the focus of the Southern Autistic School (SAS), a specialized institution.
To satisfy the learning requirements of kids with an ASD diagnosis, SAS offers evidence-based educational programs.
Making the institution a hub of excellence and knowledge in the provision of education for students with autism is one of the key objectives of the current Strategic Plan.
With over 290 pupils, ages 3 to 18, the school is situated in East Bentleigh, in the SouthEastern Region.
Each kid has an individualized learning plan in a class of six to ten individuals. Individual Learning Plans are based on the Victorian Curriculum and emphasize the growth of independence, social interaction, and communication skills.
At SAS, they apply the Victorian Curriculum and improve their teaching and learning initiatives by utilizing evidence-based methodologies and techniques.
This involves the use of Hanen Strategies, the adoption of STAR and LINKS, explicit instruction, and PECs.
Along with entertainment and community access, our secondary programs offer excellent options for vocational education.
On the same site, there are four auxiliary schools, each headed by an accomplished school administrator.
Learning specialists also aid in the creation of teaching and learning initiatives.
Despite differences in their specialty programs throughout the sub-schools, they always contain ART, Media ARTS, Physical Education, Music, and Cooking.
The primary-aged pupils also participate in a swimming program in a nearby magnesium pool.
Western Autistic School
For 400 young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Prep to Grade 3, the government-funded Western Autistic School provides an early years program (ages 4.5-9).
Their goal is to maximize the educational possibilities for their students as they transition into more diverse environments.
In order to do this, they support their children in developing their functional language, social emotional, and communication skills in addition to their reading and numeracy.
In order to enable the kids to employ these tactics in an integrated context, they do this by beginning each child’s academic career with rigorous, individualized instruction.
The youngsters are followed into these schools by our outreach inclusive education teacher.
Northern School for Autism
The Northern School for Autism aspires to be a premier institution.
Students are encouraged to reach their full academic and personal potential in order to become valuable members of their families and communities.
The school offers a variety of specialized services, such as speech pathology, occupational therapy, and access to student welfare professionals, to assist the execution of the educational programs.
A team-based collaborative method is used to deliver therapy in educational settings.
In order to guarantee that children have access to regular and efficient therapeutic programs, teachers and therapists collaborate across disciplines.
Northern School for Autism provides:
- The Victorian Curriculum – tailored to the needs of students with ASD.
- Individual Learning Plans (ILP) to ensure students develop and learn to their full potential.
- Highly structured, ASD specific, teaching practices.
- Small group instruction.
- School Wide Positive Behavior Support.
- Regular participation in the wider community.
- Education support services including speech and occupational therapy.
Jacana School for Autism
Building strong bonds between children, parents/caregivers, and staff, Jacana School for Autism actively promotes a student-centered approach.
Even in trying circumstances, they all have the right to be treated with respect and fairness.
This involves showing compassion for one another. Everyone has a common obligation to foster inclusiveness and foster a culture where everyone is appreciated and treated with respect.
Jacana School for Autism believes that to succeed in the world, students need to develop the capacity to:
Manage themselves as individuals and in their relations to others.
Understand the world in which they live and act effectively in their wider community
Jacana School for Autism provides:
- A curriculum that supports the individual needs of students, using specific teaching strategies that cater to students with Autism.
- Individual Learning Plans to cater for specific learning needs and styles, focusing on communication, social /interpersonal skills, personal learning and academic skills.
- A safe and secure environment that enhances students’ self-esteem and respects students’ dignity.
- School wide implementation of the Positive Behavior Support program.
- Regular participation in the wider community.
Jacana School for Autism includes:
- Individual and small group instruction.
- Speech therapy consultation.
- Occupational therapy consultation.
- Psychology consultation.
- Ongoing professional development for staff.
- Programs that are informed by current research and evidence based practice.
Giant Steps Melbourne
In July 1995, a group of committed parents founded Giant Steps Sydney at the site of the former Gladesville Hospital, some seven kilometers from Sydney’s downtown.
Their goal was to provide the finest practices in autism education and support from across the world to Australia.
Twelve students were admitted to the school at its beginning, along with a program that was created in Montreal, Canada.
Giant Steps Sydney has developed into a top educational facility for kids with autism and their families over the course of its 27-year history.
While fostering a culture of compassion and professional competence throughout the larger community, Giant Steps takes a holistic approach to providing assistance to children with autism and their families.
Following demand from families in Victoria, Giant Steps Melbourne opened in February 2016 with an initial intake of 11 students.
Features of the school program include:
- A transdisciplinary approach where speech, occupational and music therapists work with special education staff in a collaborative team developing individual programs specific to each child’s needs and abilities within the Australian curriculum framework.
- A class grouping structure whereby students engage in whole class, small group, paired, whole school and, where appropriate, individual teaching and learning programs.
- Highly trained and committed staff.
- Individualized and small group instruction by specialist teachers and educators.
- Programs and therapies soundly based on current research.
- Setting individual goals and close monitoring of a child’s progress.
- Program adjustment based on each child’s need.
- Parent consultation and guidance in supporting students within the home environment.
- Home visits, preschool visits (Sydney only) and transitional support to student’s next educational setting when required.
Can autistic children go to normal school in Australia?
Primary school options for autistic children. All children in Australia over the age of 6 years have to go to school, and your autistic child might have a range of primary school options.
School options include mainstream government schools, also called public or state schools.
Are there special schools for autism?
Can a child with autism attend a normal school?
Autism Programs and IEP in Public Schools.
Can children with autism attend regular school?
Of course they can, but it is important to have accommodations in place that support the special learning needs of a child on the spectrum.
Can a child with autism lead a normal life?
In severe cases, an autistic child may never learn to speak or make eye contact.
But many children with autism and other autism spectrum disorders are able to live relatively normal lives.
How long can autism last?
One of the most important investigations of recent years revealed that the average life expectancy of a person with severe autism is 39.5 years, rising to only 58 years for those with high-functioning autism, or Asperger syndrome.
What is the future of autistic children?
Just like neurotypical individuals, the future of people with ASD depends on their strengths, passions and skill sets.
It is important to understand that a diagnosis of ASD does not mean that your child cannot make friends, date, go to college, get married, become a parent, and/or have a satisfying lucrative career.
What do students with autism struggle with?
School activities that may be particularly challenging for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), previously referred to as Asperger’s Disorder, include social interactions, noisy or disordered environments, intense sensory stimulation, and changes in expected routines.
What’s the cause of autism?
Some genetic mutations seem to be inherited, while others occur spontaneously. Environmental factors.
Researchers are currently exploring whether factors such as viral infections, medications or complications during pregnancy, or air pollutants play a role in triggering autism spectrum disorder.
How do you avoid having a child with autism?
- Live healthy. Have regular check-ups, eat well-balanced meals, and exercise.
- Don’t take drugs during pregnancy. Ask your doctor before you take any medication.
- Avoid alcohol
- Seek treatment for existing health conditions
- Get vaccinated
Who is at high risk for autism?
Children born to older parents are at a higher risk for having autism. Parents who have a child with ASD have a 2 to 18 percent chance of having a second child who is also affected.
Studies have shown that among identical twins, if one child has autism, the other will be affected about 36 to 95 percent of the time.
The disconnect between community perceptions of their understanding of the impacts of autism and the experiences of autistic people and their families demonstrates a need to better educate the general public about the needs of autistic people and the ways in which communities, organizations, and governments can support greater acceptance and inclusion for autistic children and adults.
As noted by Cage et al. (2019), if we are to reduce autism stigma and break down stereotypes “autistic adults themselves must be a key source of information for improving non-autistic individuals’ attitudes”.
Thus, there is a need for more research which integrates the perspectives of both autistic people and the broader community; and for this research to inform the development of communication and education interventions, rather than about autistic people. Do you have suggestions or questions about the autistic schools in Melbourne? Please leave a comment below.