Autism unit goes from strength to strength

Hayley Warden

Nowra Public School has doubled their students intake since opening an autism unit only a year ago and that figure looks set to triple in the next 12 months.

There are 14 students enrolled in the unit, with a maximum of seven in each class. 

“Since last year we have had another class start,” Nowra Public School teacher Sue Griffin said. 

“We’ve moved so we could have the setup where we could allow for more classes, as we will keep growing in the next 12 months with a third class.

“We’ve refurbished some of the old rooms and made a really good little unit for ourselves.”

Nowra Public School principal Ian Millard said the autism unit was a great service for the community.

“I’ve had units before in other schools and I know the value of them to other kids,” Mr Millard said.

“I have a very strong belief that our classrooms should reflect the society  we draw from, I think all schools should be like this.” 

Teachers have created a calming environment for the students with lounge chairs and the use of muted relaxing interior colours.

Mr Millard believes his staff are one of the main reasons for the success of the unit.

“I think I have very compassionate staff, my executive said yes to the idea and then we took it to the staff and they were very supportive of it,” he said.

“The parents certainly love the service because now their kids can come to the same school as their siblings.

“It’s a great service for the community and it’s going to be a showpiece for our school.”