World Autism Understanding Day is a celebration across the globe of autistic people and their exceptionality and an opportunity to help the wider community understand more about autism.
For Aspect Riverina School, which runs autism-specific education programs, it’s a day to recognise the individuality of our wonderful students and celebrate their families, teachers and support staff and to acknowledge the local community which has supported our school over many years.
A significant milestone has been our expansion to a new site, on campus in Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. This new school will provide a supportive learning environment where we teach essential life skills including literacy, numeracy, social and emotional development along with core NSW curriculum outcomes in a hands-on, strength centred individual way.
Closer to home, our Albury campus is undergoing a substantial renovation which includes a new classroom and our highly anticipated library.
Our school’s ability to expand in so many ways is testament to the unwavering support of our community. We value our partnership with Albury Rotary Club which helped fund the experience of a lifetime for many of our senior students as they embarked on a climb of Mount Bogong and have also provided new exercise and sensory equipment for our Middle school students.
And Border Trust has provided valuable literacy resources and a significant contribution to our Healthy Lifestyle initiative, funding access to a nutritionist and vegetable garden set up.
Our teachers are thrilled to see students mature in their learning but also to watch their confidence grow as they step up to new challenges through the array of co-curricular experiences available.
For our younger students in Years K–4 Aspect’s educational focus strongly supports students’ social and emotional development and communication needs, based around their strengths; while for our students in Years 5-10 we focus on growing greater independence and building a pathway to post school options, that may include further education and employment.
As we reflect on World Autism Understanding Day and its celebration of autistic people as individuals, I am proud to watch this being practiced in our school each day. Our staff know and understand every student uniquely, their strengths, dislikes, fears and what drives them.
It certainly takes a village, and Aspect Riverina School is fortunate to have fostered genuine relationships with our community, teachers and families enabling us to nurture the gifts and aspirations of our exceptional students.