A Sunnybank school helping support the needs of children living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Queensland has received funding to begin refurbishments on buildings built over 40 years ago.
Autism Queensland’s Sunnybank Hills campus, the first ever autism-specific school in Queensland will begin three refurbishment projects thanks to $1.3 million in funding from the State Government.
The first project will commence this week with renovations and conversion of the amenities block to a Prep General Learning Area (GLA), including a classroom, quiet spaces, amenities, a covered drop-off area and acoustic perimeter fencing.
In later stages, there will also be refurbishments on the administration building and the conversation of the Junior school building to six GLAs, six withdrawal rooms, amenities, a gym area and other facilities.
The funding was received from the Queensland Independent Schools Block Grant Authority’s State Capital Assistance Scheme - 2018 round.
Chief Executive Officer of Autism Queensland Rod Cameron says the organisation has been supporting the educational needs of children with autism for over 50 years.
“Our Sunnybank campus is one of only three accredited, independent schools in Queensland providing specialist education and therapy programs for students with a diagnosis of ASD aged five years (Prep) to 18 years.”
“Our educational approach focuses on the development of core characteristics of autism, such as social skills, communication and sensory processing, behaviour, stress management and daily living, play and recreation skills.”
Mr Cameron thanked the Queensland Government for their ongoing support.
“The success and growth that the school continues to enjoy would not have been possible without the continued support from the Queensland Department of Education.”
Member for Stretton Duncan Pegg says the funding will help ensure student at Autism Queensland Sunnybank Hills have access to the best possible school facilities.
“The Palaszczuk Government remains committed to supporting non-state schools like Autism Queensland and I’m pleased that they have received this much-needed assistance.”
Autism Queensland will also deliver autism-specific schooling to the Prep to Year 2 children on the spectrum living in Cairns for the first time this year.
Following recent approval to expand services, two classes of six children will commence schooling at the end of this month at Autism Queensland’s Education and Therapy Centre at Edmonton.
Autism Queensland School Principal Cae Ashton says the wait is over for families in the Cairns community.
“We are very excited about delivering classes from the start of 2019,” she says.