The Learning Support Unit Autism (LSUA) at Farrer Primary School is a specialised educational learning environment for children on the Autism Spectrum. Each child in the multi-age LSUA has an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) focusing on literacy, numeracy and life skills.
Staff work with families and other professionals to create ILPs. Literacy and numeracy goals are aligned with the Australian Curriculum accessed at the student’s point of need.
Examples of life skill goals could be
- Communication skills (expressive and receptive language)
- Social skills (reciprocal interactions, sharing, turn taking, playing with others, emotional learning, cooperation)
- Transitioning from small group to large group settings
Each student works to an individualised timetable that is catered to their needs outlined in their ILP. This provides students with a predictable routine allowing for optimal learning to take place. This format can assist in the minimisation of anxiety associated with learning and structures. All learning is focused on the goals jointly constructed by teaching staff and families.
Students have the opportunity to develop their skills in a structured and safe environment, taking their learning from small to large group settings. Students have opportunities to learn social skills in the LSUA and with appropriate supports in place, transfer this learning into the broader community. This assists with the mastery of everyday skills, for example greetings and farewells.
The LSUA is located in the centre of the school with access to both Ellyard and Cameron buildings and play equipment. Students are encouraged to play and interact with peers at break times through structured play activities and support from staff when needed.
Students have opportunities to work as part of their mainstream classes supported by Learning Support Staff (LSAs). This is based on individual student needs as outlined in the ILP. Students may for example, join their mainstream class for inquiry lessons, PE and grade specific experiences such as the swimming program, excursions and camps.