Autism Spectrum Australia

Aspect Treetop School is Adelaide’s first specialist school for kids on the spectrum

  • Posted: Wed, 27/07/2016 - 10:50am

ADELAIDE’S first specialist school for autistic children is up and running on the former Ashford Special School site.

Aspect Treetop School opened this week with 22 students in four classes.

That will rise to 60 next year and as many as 88 in future years as the Anzac Highway site, on a 30-year peppercorn lease from the State Government, is refurbished.

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) has eight schools in NSW as well as a “satellite” presence in many other schools, helping children transition to less specialist environments and in some cases into mainstream classes.

At Treetop, which caters for Reception to Year 10, there is a teacher and a support worker for every six students, as well as access to a counsellor and speech and occupational therapists. Fees are $9850 a year.

Acting principal Kaye Perry said Aspect schools followed the Australian Curriculum while adhering to an evidence-based, 10-point educational philosophy.

“It’s all individualised for the students,” she said.

“We have a real emphasis on our positive behaviour support and family involvement and participation, and also providing networks for our families as well so they feel supported.”

On average, students spend two years in an Aspect school before transitioning to a more mainstream school.

An ambitious fundraising campaign is looking to reach $6 million to complete the transformation of the campus into a 21st century specialist school.

The Adelaide Crows have donated $50,000 for a new playground that will be ready in time for the school’s official opening next month.

Students are eagerly awaiting delivery of their uniforms next week.

Avalon, 8, said: “It’s awesome here. I like the trampoline.”

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Education Reporter Tim Williams, The Advertiser
July 26, 2016 9:30pm

Aspect Treetop School is Adelaide’s first specialist school for kids on the spectrum