St Dominic’s becomes an Autism Friendly School

St Dominic’s Centre, Mayfield, is now accepting enrolments for Kindergarten students who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The Autism Spectrum Disorder specific class for Kindergarten children at St Dominic’s utilises contemporary teaching practices and learning strategies including visual support systems, structured teaching and sensory regulation processes.

The embedded practices and methodologies are proving  not only to be beneficial for students with autism, but for all students from Kindergarten to Year 10 at St Dominic’s.

This consolidation aims to improve student engagement and create an environment that supports independent, lifelong learners.

Environment and Learning

While the importance of having learning and environmental supports for specific student needs is still recognised, St Dominic’s also aims to implement processes that are consistent across the school.

These include school-based visual supports, the use of choice boards, activity sequence boards, task analysis, data collection and student feedback.

Staff at St Dominic’s continually engage external and school-based professional development to  refine further knowledge, skills and teaching and learning practices.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

The Speech Pathologist, classroom teachers and external specialists work in close collaboration to ensure text to speech and other AAC programs are embedded within the teaching and learning environment.

The programs are of high priority at St Dominic’s and help students to engage in conversations, ask questions and make requests and comments.

The school is also continually enhancing the use of Auslan signing, key word signing and Picture Exchange Communication Systems.

Social and Emotional Support

In alignment with St Dominic’s Positive Behaviour Support structures, student’s social needs are supported with the use of social stories, autopsies and scripting.

Students are given the opportunity to participate in supported social clubs during lunch time, where they learn how to how to enter and exit games, how to take turns and how to see someone else win graciously.

The school is currently developing appropriate playground supports, including passive and active zoned areas, to facilitate student socialisation in structured and unstructured peer interactions.

Parent and Family Partnerships

St Dominic’s is excited to introduce a range of parent information sessions that aim to create a greater working partnership between families and the school.

The sessions give parents the opportunity to connect with their Dominican community and learn about the strategies students are experiencing in the classroom to give parents the option to utilise them in their family home.