Children like Jake and Kade are thriving at their Aspect school, but financial hardship is putting their education at risk.
Stability, structure and certainty are at the heart of an effective learning environment for children on the autism spectrum.
While every child on the autism spectrum is unique – with individual challenges in areas including communication, behaviour and learning – many respond well to predictable routine. So as you can imagine, the disruptions of 2020 have already had a negative impact for some children.
Now, many of our students are facing uncertainty, and without your support their autism-specific education is at risk.
Many of our Aspect families are struggling with financial hardship, meaning some children like Jake and Kade may not be able to return to their Aspect school next year. The best solution to this problem is to provide sponsorships to more Aspect school children.
But to do that, we need your support.
This Christmas, we urgently need to raise $150,000 to fund sponsorships for families most in need. Don’t let this be the last term that a child like Jake or Kade attends an autism-specific school.
Please donate today so children on the autism spectrum can continue to have access to the transformative education they need.
Twins Jake and Kade were five when they were diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
At the time, both of the boys were verbal, but their speech was often slurred and difficult to understand.
“They didn’t have a huge vocabulary,” remembers their mum, Nicole. “I noticed there was lots of sounds they couldn’t pronounce properly.”
Along with shared challenges, Jake and Kade were also experiencing their own unique challenges. Extremely shy and sensitive to sound, Kade would often run off at shopping centres, overwhelmed by the setting. Meanwhile, Jake who’s sensitive to light, would spend hours organising his toys and was prone to meltdowns if anything disturbed him.
When they received their diagnosis the twins were attending a local prep class. But, despite the best efforts of teachers, the boys were struggling to cope in an environment not suited to their needs. “Kade used to hide under the little tables at school and didn’t want to socialise with the other kids,” recalls Nicole.
A family member introduced Nicole to Aspect, and in 2017 the boys started attending their local Aspect school.
Since starting at their Aspect school, Jake and Kade have made great progress.
The whole family is thrilled to see the boys learning, growing and developing life-long skills in an autism-specific, tailored learning environment. “Aspect has changed Jake and Kade’s lives, and also mine,” says Nicole. “It means that people like my boys will always be included and treated like they belong. They won’t be made to feel like they are different and they will never be left behind.”
What makes an Aspect school so unique?
In our Aspect schools and satellite classes, every student receives a specialised education, uniquely tailored to meet their individual needs. Class sizes are small, so our highly-trained teachers can provide individual support that focuses on each student’s unique strengths, challenges and aspirations.
Every lesson is tailored to suit the needs of the student. Teachers use autism-specific tools, strategies and aids to help children like Jake and Kade reach their individual goals. For Kade, sensory tools like noise cancelling headphones and a sensory tent, have helped him to manage external stimuli, while strategies such as social stories have helped Jake gain confidence. Teachers use learning apps like Reading Eggs to help both boys build literacy and communication skills.
This tailored education has helped both boys make wonderful progress towards their individual goals. “They’re both amazing, happy spirits,” says Donna, the boys’ Year 2 teacher. “Kade has grown so much in confidence and independence, and Jake’s more confident now too – and his handwriting is stunning!”
The structure, consistency and routine established at Aspect schools is fundamental to the learning outcomes and individual progress of children like Jake and Kade.
You can imagine the fear in the hearts of parents like Nicole and Dan if financial hardship were to prevent their children from accessing an autism-specific education next year.
Like so many families this year they have struggled to cope with the financial pressures created by coronavirus. Nicole spent many sleepless nights worrying that the boys may have to move to a new school, and start over without the autism-specific support they need. She feared the boys would lose all the progress they’d made, feel completely overwhelmed and be unable to cope without the structure, routine and support of their Aspect school and teachers.
This is why we need your support.
You can stop financial hardship from taking a child’s best education from them. Join with us today and donate to give families in need the gift of an Aspect School Sponsorship this Christmas.