New Autism school a dream come true for local families

The wait is finally over for families who need specialised assistance for their primary school aged children with autism.

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) Principal Pam Lea said the Aspect team hoped to address an unmet need for autism-specific schooling in the NSW’s Mid North Coast.

“Aspect is thrilled to be establishing a school site in Coffs Harbour’s Howard Street,” Mrs Lea said.

“We’ve been working really closely with Coffs Harbour City Council and local architects to develop a site that is going to be child friendly and meet our requirements.”

According to Census data, one in 100 Australians are diagnosed with autism and there are 61 primary school-aged children living with this disability in the Coffs Harbour LGA alone.

“Our services provide people on the autism spectrum with the opportunity to realise their unique potential, as well as providing much needed support to their families, carers, friends and colleagues,” Mrs Lea said.

“Our vision is to provide the best possible opportunities for people on the spectrum.”

Local parent Laura Daley said it was a dream come true for her family.

“I have two young boys who are both on the Autism Spectrum and I am so excited that Aspect is coming,” Ms Daley said.

“The original plan was for Aspect to have just a satellite class here but now we’re going to have a full blown school – it’s incredible.”

According to Ms Daley there are many local families eager to access the new school’s services.

“There already is a large waiting list. Even parents from Grafton and Nambucca have said they are happy to travel here to use the facility,” Ms Daley said.

Ms Daley said the new school would make it easier on children to live a normal life outside of school.

“You want your child to be able to just relax and have some regular family time outside of school. I just want my boys to have fulfilling lives and reach their full potential,” Ms Daley said.

The Howard Street premises is not yet ready for operation therefore Aspect will be using a local Church building to get them through the first two terms of 2016

It is estimated that the official school will be opened from the third school term.

Thanks to a $15,000 grant from the ETC Community Support Fund, Aspect can fit-out the new school with student seating and desks, electronic whiteboards and desktop computers.

To find out more information or ask for an application pack for the new school, contact Aspect on 02 46513901 or

To find out more about ETC services contact ETC today on 1800 007 400.

  1. I have a child with autism he 7 he dose really well with me and others but his school lately states there having trouble with him they didn’t or could not help him on a bad day so there kick him out for four days..he never been in trouble ever …so my new case work and some others are helping us but I only see he school pulling him down when he is amazing young man with big things to happen in his life my mother call me tonight to tell me she seen something on Television then I look this site up …love to hear more about it or if you could help us

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