Autism Queensland School
SUNNYBANK HILLS I BRIGHTON I CAIRNS
An autism-friendly school supporting Prep-Year 12 students on the spectrum with small classes, a consistent learning environment and personalised support.
Autism Queensland has been providing specialist education for children on the autism spectrum for over 50 years. We support our students with an individualised program, effective inter-disciplinary team, and collaboration with their families and other school settings, in order that they develop skills to participate to their fullest extent in their home, school and local community.
Autism Queensland (AQ) School is an accredited, independent school providing specialist education and therapy programs for students with a verification of ASD aged five years (Prep) to 18 years. It comprises three Education and Therapy Centres located in Brisbane at Brighton and Sunnybank Hills and in Cairns at Edmonton.
Our interdisciplinary team supports students through effective, individualised programs and collaboration with families and other school settings.
Autism Queensland’s educational approach focuses on the development of core characteristics of ASD:
- Social Skills.
- Sensory Information Processing.
- Adaptive Behaviour.
- Stress Management.
- Daily Living Skills.
- Community Access.
- Play and Recreation Skills.
Adjustments to the Australian Curriculum consider student’s individual strengths and interests, age and learning preferences to minimise the impact of autism on access to learning and improve opportunities for success at school.
The AQ School offers a selection of full-time and part-time placements. They are grouped according to age, ability and needs with a maximum of six students per class. Each class is led by a teacher and at least one teacher aide with additional specialist, targeted and universal support provided by the school therapy team.
Students can attend an AQ School campus part-time in combination with attendance at their local school.
The majority attend the school for two or three days each week during the school term, however, a one-day enrolment option is also available. The decision for one, two or three-day placements is made on a case by case basis and is dependent on criteria which impact school attendance and/or access to (mainstream) school programs such as anxiety, social communication and behaviour.
The part-time format of our school-based group program is specifically designed to:
- Enable students to maintain a connection with their peer group and their local school curriculum.
- Enable students to practice and develop skills for generalisation.
- Continue social connection with their local community.
- Provide an opportunity for observation, data collection and sharing of expertise among key stakeholders.
*Cairns offers part-time placements for Prep-Year 4.
Five-day programs are available for Prep-Year 3 and Senior Years (Years 10-12) at both Brisbane campuses.
The Senior School program aims to support those students who have chosen a QCIA pathway which allows them to access a personalised senior program with autism specific adjustments and supports. This class also supports students to develop positive peer friendships, confidence, success, and allows strengths-based learning.
Why the AQ School?
- Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs) tailored to address the impact of autism on students’ access to learning, developed in collaboration with the home school education support team and parents and carers.
- An interdisciplinary team approach including parents, home school support team and Autism Queensland School team and other professionals staff.
- Universal supports within the classroom and playground areas.
- Targeted and specialist therapy support as needed.
- Explicit teaching of skills addressing the function of behaviours of concern.
- Environmental modifications and supports.
- Structured learning environments maximizing engagement and success for students on the autism spectrum.
- Focus on functional life skill development including social problem solving and emotional regulation skills necessary for lifelong learning.
- Emphasis on generalisation to home and other educational settings.
- Regular goal-based communication with parents and carers.
- Parent support, advocacy and education.
Timetables for all our school groups have an allocation for academic work, with activities and focus areas selected to match individual student needs, in close collaboration with each student’s home school.
Prospective students MUST:
- Have a current diagnosis of ASD (not more than 24 months old provided by a paediatrician, child psychiatrist or paediatric neurologist)
- Be aged between five years (by June 30 in the year of attendance) and 18 years
- Have a behaviour support plan (if applicable, and not more than two years old).
Enrolment & Fees
You can apply for enrolment by submitting an Expression of Interest (see below). Please note that as part of this process your child will become a registered client of Autism Queensland if they are not already one. Upon receipt of your application we will contact you to let you know if your child meets eligibility* and if a placement is available (places are allocated depending on vacancies) we will arrange for a visit to our school. Alternatively, you will be advised that your child has been placed on a waiting list.
While placements at our school are subsidised by Australian and State Government funding, fees are still applicable.
*Sometimes we may request more detailed information in order to assess your child’s eligibility.
The AQ School aims to provide a safe, supportive and disciplined environment that respects:
- The rights of all students to learn.
- The rights of all staff to teach.
- The rights of students and staff to be safe.
It is accepted that settling into a new school is a significant event for any child and particularly challenging for children on the spectrum. To provide the best opportunity for your child’s educational success, a review of progress for each student is undertaken after three months for continued enrolment at the AQ School. You will be informed regularly during this period on your child’s progress and are strongly encouraged to speak with your child’s teacher if you have any concerns.
Criteria for ongoing enrolment at the AQ School are:
- The student is able to participate in a group setting.
- The student demonstrates safe behaviour towards self and others.
- The student is able to participate without the need for ongoing one-to-one supervision.
- Timely payment of school fees in agreement with the Autism Queensland Financial Services Department.
Should these criteria not be met, a meeting will be arranged at the earliest opportunity to share options with you around possible alternative arrangements to better meet the educational needs of your child.
Autism Queensland School Locations
Sunnybank Hills Campus
437 Hellawell Road, Sunnybank Hills QLD 4109
136 North Road, Brighton QLD 4017