Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) plans new school in Cardiff | Newcastle Herald



news, health, Aspect, ASD, Autism, Autism spectrum disorder, school, Lara Cheney, education, Hunter school

FOR a very intelligent kid who could read by the age of three, but didn’t answer his name call and struggled to engage, it wasn’t always easy for Ryder , six, and her mother, Katie Cowey. With nonverbal autism, being safe and understood in school, and supported to reach one’s potential, is essential. This is what Miss Cowey cherishes when her son attends Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) Basic School in Thornton. “It’s absolutely amazing,” Miss Cowey said. “It is a great peace of mind to know that they have a speech language pathologist and an occupational therapist here, who have helped us to put in place the same consistent approach in school and at home at all levels with visuals to help us.” “Honestly, I never thought he would be clean and in six weeks he’s out of diapers.” The demand for places in Aspect’s school and satellite classes is on the rise. Aspect already hosts more than 200 autistic students on multiple campuses – their base school, in Thornton, and in seven satellite schools of regular and Catholic schools, said Lara Cheney, principal of Hunter School. This week, Aspect announced that it will develop a second school with the purchase of a former Bupa elderly care facility in Cardiff which will be converted into a primary school for up to 60 pupils. It will be an invaluable addition, Ms. Cheney said. “There is certainly growing interest in our program. We run a school visit twice a term and on each visit an average of 15 families attend to learn more about our program – this is the first step, ”she said. While there have been a lot of kids on the waiting list, vacancies come in fairly regularly, she said. “We regularly offer positions as we are a place of transition and students move to their local schools – some students stay with us for a short time and others stay with us longer,” she said. “The good thing about Cardiff is that we have long wanted to give more support to people living in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas, so having a main school site in Cardiff will really help reach a much larger area. than what we are currently doing. ” According to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, more than 5,500 children with autism live in the Hunter / Newcastle area, resulting in long waiting lists for supports and services. The new facility will house a distance learning program, which provides education for Grades 3 to 8 students across New South Wales, as well as therapy services. IN THE NEWS: Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:




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