School Aged Services

(5 to 18 year olds)

The school years equip children with a range of foundational skills needed for later life. Among these critical learning points are perspective-taking skills. Perspective-taking skills (also known as Theory of Mind) are often picked up intuitively for typically developing children and as a result, are often entirely missed out in the formal schooling curriculum. Children on the Autism Spectrum have additional needs in the childhood years that need to be considered in order to move into the next phase of their lives with the skills needed to cope and achieve their fullest potential. We can assist your child to remove the confusion and build skills that will continue to assist them throughout their lives.​

Communication and Social

In Primary and Secondary schooling, the need for sound receptive and expressive communication skills becomes more apparent. In addition to assisting children and teenagers with receptive and expressive communication skills, we can also assist with social inclusion through the development of play, interpersonal and emotional regulation skills. We can create and set up visual supports to assist with ease of communication.

Self-Help/Adaptive/Personal Care Skills

School aged students often enjoy the freedom and independence that comes with learning self-care skills, such as toileting, dressing and teeth brushing. When children have additional needs, they may require extra support or explicit teaching in these areas. In conjunction with the above self care skills, we can also assist with establishing functional routines, putting in place strategies to assist with executive function challenges and making structural changes to the environment to increase chances of success. School aged children also benefit from learning self determination and self advocacy skills, as well as study habits, basic cleaning and basic budgeting skills. Secondary aged students may also gain from upskilling in job readiness skills and learning about employment prospects. 

Sensory 

The school envrionment is typically a busy environment, which can be stressful and a significant barrier to children with sensory sensitivities. We can assist children, at home or at school, to identify their triggers and make suggestions around potential environmental modifications and coping strategies. We can also make individualised sensory diet programs for students and assist with building their ability to self regulate independently. 

Academic Skills

Gaps in academic skills in school aged children can contribute to anxiety, challenging behaviours, incomplete school work and in more challenging cases, school refusal. We can assist with intervention in literacy and numeracy, and otherwise assist with recommendations towards modification or adaptation of their school curriculum.

Transition (Education/Recreation) Skills

Transitioning to new environments can be stressful and difficult, but particularly so for students with Autism who often prefer routine and predictability. We can assist with supported site visits, creation of visuals for school/place of access, basic school engagement strategies and the provision transition reports for staff.

Assessments

Assessments can provide important information about your child's skill gaps, potential areas for development, as well as outlining their strengths and sensitivities. We use a range of both formal (standardised) assessments, as well as more informal checklists or questionnaires to guide therapy. Some of the more popular assessments are the Vineland, and The Sensory Profile. We will talk to you about which options may be best suited to your child.

Counselling, Case Management and Advocacy

School-aged children on the Autism Spectrum often need assistance with dissecting social situations due to differences in development of Theory of Mind (understanding that others have different thoughts to us) and central coherence (understanding the big picture). Advocacy can also be useful for families who feel like their child needs support in community contexts but don't know what to ask for, or if someone is needed to guide you through the NDIS for the first time. 

Some examples of how we have supported children with Autism this age group in the recently;

Hugh* was in a Year 1 class at his local primary school. His parents were concerned that he was only playing alone but wanted to make friends at school. Upon observing Hugh, it became evident that he did not tolerate sharing toys well, and did not have the emotional regulation skills that would be expected from a child in his year level when normal playground disagreements occured. We were able to support Hugh by teaching him the perspective-taking skills associated with sharing, how to calm himself down when distressed and how to take turns in conversations and games. In turn, he was able to develop some friendship was peers with similar interests and engage the right supports when distressed.

Yogesh* was in his last year of Primary school. He was moving to high school the following year and was nervous about his level of literacy and numeracy and how this would affect him. We were able to conduct some assessments with Yogesh around his literacy and numeracy skills, work on his skill gaps, and spend time creating a report for his new teachers and support staff to use at his new school. As a result, Yogesh was able to transition with developing confidence in literacy and numeracy, and the school was well equipped to offer the right supports and establish appropriate goals prior to his arrival.  

Angelica* was in Year 11 at her local high school. Her mother had approached us with concerns about Angelica withdrawing from school and had heard from teachers she was non-complaint at school. In our initial assessment, we discovered that Angelina was feeling overwhelming anxiety with her schoolwork due to her not feeling as though she could ask for help. We were able to assist Angelina by working on her her anxiety management skills, her expressive communication skills and explicitly teaching her how to request for breaks with self-advocacy in mind.