"We are extremely excited to expand our legacy with the new Cardiff Heights location, while continuing to partner with other schools to help address the immediate needs of the community."
As Australia celebrates World Autism Awareness Day and seeks to raise understanding of autism and how we can all make society a more inclusive place, Aspect Hunter School is acknowledging its students and staff and preparing for a new campus in Cardiff Heights.
While Aspect Hunter's main campus is at Thornton, providing autism-specific education programs for students in K-12, the school offers six autism-specific satellite classes within mainstream schools located across Newcastle, the Hunter region and Port Macquarie, along with a distance education program. Combined, these schools enrol over 250 students.
And within 18 months Aspect Hunter is set to launch a new campus, Aspect School Lake Macquarie in Cardiff Heights, to meet the increasing demand for autism-specific education in the region.
Lara Cheney, Principal Aspect Hunter School said the new campus in Cardiff Heights will be welcomed by local residents with children on the autism spectrum, as it will provide more opportunity to access autism-specialist education and individualised learning plans.
"Parents value Aspect's approach and the way our wonderful teachers work with a student's special interest areas to be able to motivate them to achieve their personal best," Ms Cheney said. "Our new campus will cater for up to 80 students and is ideally positioned, given it's close proximity to Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and local area amenities.
"This school is being designed by a specialist team with experience in developing autism-friendly schools, and will also include a dedicated space for autism assessments."
A key part of Aspect's educational approach is transition. Learning is focused on building each student's skills and independence to enable them to transition to less specialised settings with comprehensive and personalised support. Approximately 20 per cent of Aspect Hunter students successfully transition each year.
"With almost 10,000 children on the autism spectrum residing in the Hunter-New England region according to the NDIS, more supports and services for children and families is vital," Ms Cheney added.
"Aspect has been operating schools in this community for over 40 years and we are extremely excited to expand our legacy with the new Cardiff Heights location, while continuing to partner with other schools to help address the immediate needs of the community."