The Learning Support Units
We have two units for children with autism at Yarralumla Primary. The students are grouped according to their needs. The first unit for students with autism at Yarralumla Primary started in 2000 with the second unit opening in 2003.
What is autism?
The term Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is more commonly known as autism. ASD is an umbrella term which includes:
- Classic Autism;
- High Functioning Autism;
- Asperger's Syndrome;
- Atypical Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified) (PDD-NOS).
Autism Spectrum Disorders are lifelong disabilities that affect the way a person communicates, relates to other people and the world around them. People affected by autism typically display major impairments in three areas:
Learning Styles and Strength
People with autism have their unique way of learning and viewing the world. Some learning strengths are:
- Visual strengths aid comprehension and interpretation of the world;
- The ability to learn in chunks;
- Good rote learning skills;
- Able to remember concrete information for a long time.
Some Critical Issues
Many people with an autism spectrum disorder also have sensory sensitivities, i.e. over- or under-sensitivity to sight, touch, taste, smell, sound, temperature and pain. As a result of their impairments, people with autism spectrum disorders often experience overwhelming anxiety, frustration and confusion when faced with the demands of everyday life. Consequently, the staff of Yarralumla Primary is committed to adapting the curriculum to suit the learning styles of our students with autism, in order to increase the generalisation of learning and independence in skills.