South Australia is the only Australian state which does not offer an Autism Specific School as part of their educational landscape. Instead, our state aims to mainstream children with autism, irrespective of whether they are emotionally and intellectually able to cope with this placement.
For many South Australian children, mainstream school provides the opportunity to learn and develop alongside neurotypically deveveloping children, allowing them to be part of a wider social network and curriculum. For many others though, mainstream school presents significant and often overwhelming obstacles. Navigating through these makes learning impossible and often results in low self esteem. Many children are often ridiculed and bullied to such an extent that parents are forced to withdraw them from this environment and home school them.
Treetop Autism Specific school aims to address this oversight and provide children with an education tailored to their needs, both social and intellectual. Such a school would offer a specialised curriculum including the skills needed to be independent and contributing members of society as well as allied health therapies.
Currently many families are unable to afford the required amount of therapy based learning including Applied Behavioural Analysis, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Social Skills which present a minimum outlay of $50,000 per year. Due to the care requirements of many children with Autism it is impossible to have a dual income family. The financial and emotional strain of not being able to provide this therapy has far reaching ramifications not only for the child but for the entire family unit.
Please add your voice of support to the many children who are unable to speak for themselves and help us provide a school for them.