A school dedicated to teaching students with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has opened its doors in Queensland.
The brainchild of its sister school, Emmanuel College, Josiah College in Carrara grew out of the Board’s long-held strategic plan to develop a school focusing on the area of Special Education, with a specific focus on catering to the needs of students with ASD.
The autism-friendly school has been architecturally designed with extensive research and inspired by the ideas of routine, order, simplicity, nature, beauty and harmony to provide ‘an attractive and safe environment’.
It will educate both primary and high school-aged children with programs designed for children who find mainstream schooling too difficult.
Josiah College has been supported by the Queensland Department of Education, who provided over $33,000 in capital assistance through the External Infrastructure Subsidy Scheme.
“The Department of Education is committed to supporting all students with autism to access, participate and succeed in high quality education,” a spokesperson from the department says.
But it's the parents who have been at the forefront of advocating for autism-friendly services for their children.
“We know that parents of children with autism are driven to explore new opportunities and programs tailored to address their specific educational and family goals,” the spokesperson says.
Additional support will be available to students through an extensive network of specialist therapy providers and therapy spaces.
Staff numbers will be decided upon based on requirements, with the faculty to be supported by a number of training and mentoring providers such as Bond University’s Centre for ASD and regular sessions with Griffith’s Tony Attwood at Christian Heritage College.
The Department of Education’s Autism Hub will also provide families and educators with a wide range of autism support services and programs, offered by the Queensland Government and non-government agencies.
Josiah College opened on 23 April 2018 for students in Years 2 to 5 and will commence Year 6 in 2019, Year 7 in 2022, Year 8 in 2023 and Years 9 and 10 in 2024.
At first, the school will enrol only 16 students split over two classrooms, however, Josiah College hopes to grow its student numbers to 50 students, divided into 10 classrooms from Year 2-10.
A normal school day will run from 9.30am-2.30pm daily.
The Department of Education expects Josiah College, coupled with the range of autism support services available to families and teachers will complement the students’ existing education.
For more information on Josiah College, click here.