An innovative program allowing students on the autism spectrum to learn from home by connecting them to teachers via digital learning tools, will start next year in what is set to be an Australian first.
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), Australia’s leading national autism provider with one of the largest autism-specific school programs in the world, is opening Australia’s first autism specific Distance Education program in 2020, running out of the Aspect Hunter School.
The exciting initiative is opened to primary school aged children on the autism spectrum in the Hunter and surrounding region, who are either geographically isolated and don’t have access to an appropriate school program, or have disengaged from traditional education programs due to individual circumstances.
Aspect Hunter School Principal Lara Cheney said; Aspect research had shown that the reasons for parents choosing to educate their child at home were varied and included bullying, the child’s mental health issues, school/parent relationship breakdown, and a limited school understanding about autism.
“Distance Education addresses a real need in regional and remote communities where access to autism-specific learning for students is few and far between.
“Aspect brings over 50 years of experience in providing specialist education to students on the spectrum and understands has recently received held sessions for parents and students about the new program which was met with a lot of enthusiasm,” Ms Cheney said.
“We are thrilled to be able to engage these children and their families in our program to provide support and a quality education program, but also where possible explore transition back to traditional education placements.”