Autism Spectrum Australia

Schools

FAQs and answers about Aspect Schools and links to other useful resources.

Questions

1. What specialist school options are available for my child who has been diagnosed as being on the spectrum?

2. How do I enrol my child in an Aspect school?

3. What are the costs associated with an Aspect School?

4. How do I pay my school fees?

5. My child has an Autism diagnosis and is currently attending a mainstream school and I would like them to remain in the mainstream setting. What extra specialised education support is available in this setting for autism?

Can't find what you are looking for? Please contact Aspect customer service on:

1800 277 328 or (02) 8977 8377

or email us at:

customerservice@autismspectrum.org.au

 

Answers

1. What specialist school options are available for my child who has been diagnosed as being on the spectrum?

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) offers a specialised education program, operating through eight schools, 94 satellite classes and an itinerant educational outreach team. It is one of the largest in the world.

Aspect Schools are a network of eight independent schools providing an evidence informed education program for children on the spectrum. Our goal is to help students to become as independent as possible and to enable them to succeed in the wider community.

Aspect schools provide a structured learning environment with a strong support network that includes: speech pathologists, occupational therapists, family counsellors, psychologists, teachers and teacher’s aides. Each of our eight schools has a suite of infant and primary satellite classes, and a range of other services that may benefit students with an autism.

Each Aspect School consists of a variety of classes. There are classes located at our administrative base sites and also a range of satellite classes located at other schools. A satellite class is an autism-specific class operated by one of our eight Aspect Schools but located in either a NSW Department of Education & Communities or a Catholic mainstream school. We developed this highly successful, autism specific satellite class model to cater for our students who may benefit from a mainstream education setting. The type of placement we offer our students is directly related to their individual skill development and support needs.

Satellite classes can be an important step in the transition of our students who demonstrate the necessary skills. Each of our eight schools has a suite of infants and primary satellite classes. Some Aspect Schools also have secondary satellite classes.

Regional groups of satellite classes are located in the Riverina (Wagga Wagga and Albury) as part of the Aspect Riverina School and on the Far North Coast (Alstonville and Mullumbimby) as part of the Aspect Macarthur School.

Our evidence based approach, known as the Aspect Comprehensive Approach for Education, recognises the individual needs of all school age children with an autism. Staff and families develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for each child. Each child’s IEP is designed to develop their social, behavioural and sensory skills which are referred to as Aspect’s core competencies. Children are encouraged to apply these skills in their interaction with others, in small groups and in the classroom and home environments.

The integration of Aspect’s Comprehensive Approach for Education into the NSW Board of Studies curriculum makes the transition for students to non-autism specific schools a realistic goal.

Download the Aspect Schools Brochure

If you would like more information on any of the above, please contact our dedicated customer service team on: 1800 Aspect (1800 277 328)

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2. How do I enrol my child in an Aspect school?

Aspect Schools are funded in part by the NSW Department of Education and Communities which has specific criteria for placement. In line with requirements from the NSW Department of Education and Communities, to be eligible for placement in one of Aspect's schools, prospective students must have the following:

  • a current diagnosis of autism from a specialist medical officer or clinical psychologist, which is not more than 24 months old; and
  • a current standardised cognitive or developmental assessment (e.g. IQ Testing, Griffiths, WISC-IV, WPPSI-III, Stanford Binet V), which is not more than 2 years old.
  • Australian citizenship or permanent residency of Australia
  • be aged between 4 and 16 years

We hold regular enrolment information sessions at each Aspect School to answer your questions and provide enrolment application forms. Contact your nearest Aspect School or Aspect customer care for further information.

Enrolment applications are assessed and approved by an Aspect Schools Enrolment committee.

An application is made for an Aspect School rather than a specific class. Our School's professional staff decide which class is best suited to the educational needs of the student.

Requests for applications and referrals to schools may be made either by parents or by service providers in consultation with parents.

A non-refundable processing fee is required for each application submitted. An appeal process is available should a student be deemed ineligible for placement.

If you would like more information on any of the above, please contact our dedicated customer service team on: 1800 Aspect (1800 277 328)

Download the Aspect Schools Brochure

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3. What are the costs associated with an Aspect School?

A student's placement at one of our Schools is partially funded by the state and federal governments. However, these contributions do not cover all the costs of our specialised intensive approach to autism education and to preparing our students for transition to a more general educational setting. The balance of the cost of each place is met through school fees, which are subject to annual review.

Included in the school fees is a compulsory building levy to help us maintain and continue to improve our schools. We provide a discounted school fee for any of our students who are siblings of an existing student. Our current fee schedule is available from your local Aspect School or from our website. Fees are payable by direct debit or credit card.

Aspect is a not for profit organisation, with deductible gift recipient status endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office. We rely on community support to be able to offer assistance to our students' families in relation to the payment of School fees.

With this support, we are able to make sure that our students receive the best possible educational programs and at the same time grow our services to meet the ever increasing need, particularly in regional areas.

We are also able to offer a limited number of sponsored places for eligible students, subject to relative need and availability. This helps us broaden access to Aspect School services for those students whose families would otherwise not be able to afford the annual Aspect School fees.

We know too, that exceptional circumstances can arise for our students' families and that this may make it difficult to meet their obligations. In these cases, our families may be able to apply for fee reduction for a short period of time.

Conditions outlined above are subject to change.

Download the Aspect Schools Brochure

Our current fee schedule is available from your local Aspect School or can be downloaded here:
Aspect NSW School Fees
Aspect Treetop School Fees
Fees are payable by direct debit or credit card.

If you would like more information on any of the above, please contact our dedicated customer service team on: 1800 Aspect (1800 277 328)

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4. My child has an Austism diagnosis and is currently attending a mainstream school and I would like them to remain in the mainstream setting. What extra specialised education support is available in this setting for autism?

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) offers a specialised education program, operating through eight schools, 94 satellite classes and an itinerant educational outreach team. It is one of the largest in the world.

Each Aspect School consists of a variety of classes. There are classes located at our administrative base sites and also a range of satellite classes located at other schools. A satellite class is an autism-specific class operated by one of our eight Aspect Schools but located in either a NSW Department of Education & Communities or a Catholic mainstream school. We developed this highly successful, autism specific satellite class model to cater for our students who may benefit from a mainstream education setting. The type of placement we offer our students is directly related to their individual skill development and support needs.

Satellite classes can be an important step in the transition of our students who demonstrate the necessary skills. Each of our eight schools has a suite of infants and primary satellite classes. Some Aspect Schools also have secondary satellite classes.

Regional groups of satellite classes are located in the Riverina (Wagga Wagga and Albury) as part of the Aspect Riverina School and on the Far North Coast (Alstonville and Mullumbimby) as part of the Aspect Macarthur School.

Another way we support the inclusion of students in mainstream educational settings is through a specialist autism intervention outreach service provided by each Aspect School. Aspect Educational Outreach offers a diverse range of consultancy, group social skills, peer education and diagnosis disclosure programs as well as school in-service professional development and customised training for parents and professionals. This service also complements the transition of students from Aspect Schools to more generalised educational settings and continues to support students once they are in those new settings.

Download the Application form for Aspect Educational Outreach

Our current fee schedule is available from your local Aspect School or can be downloaded here:
Aspect NSW School Fees
Aspect Treetop School Fees
Fees are payable by direct debit or credit card.

If you would like more information on any of the above, please contact our dedicated customer service team on: 1800 Aspect (1800 277 328)

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Schools