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(Australia) Geraldton: 200 autistic students; "more waiting to be assessed"

Oct 20, 2021, ABC News: Alternate workspaces in Geraldton schools have positive impact on students with autism https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-20/alternate-spaces-in-geraldton-schools-help-students-with-autism/100549100

Alternate workspaces in two Geraldton schools created to help support students living with autism have been hailed a success months after the rooms opened. Key points: • Four Geraldton schools are working together to provide greater support for neurodiverse students • Students can use alternate workspaces to focus on work, self-regulate behaviour and emotions, and recharge The spaces at Wandina Primary School and Champion Bay Senior High School have already had a positive impact on students… The spaces, which include a portable work pod and a relaxation room, are part of the Geraldton Lighthouse Project; a $2.6 million [$2M] partnership between four Geraldton schools, aimed at improving educational and social outcomes for students with autism through tailor-made programs and facilities…. More than 200 children with autism are currently enrolled in public schools in Geraldton, with more students waiting to be assessed. Safe space to self-regulate About 30 students at Champion Bay Senior High School have autism. With help from the students, the school has set up six different alternative learning spaces, with more workspaces still to come. Among the curated areas are the 'Zen' Room — a place for students to relax and calm down, featuring low-lighting, desks and a sofa with high sides and roof for cancelling noise — and the 'Power' Room, which has exercise equipment students can use to get rid of excess energy before class. Ms Worthington said while the rooms are popular, students can only use them for work or to self-regulate their behaviour and emotions…. Portable 'room within a room' At Wandina Primary School, all students have access to a house-shaped pod that features changeable lighting, a whiteboard wall and table, soft seating and power points. The school has 490 students, including 26 students with autism and a number of others with support needs…. Schools encouraged to create space Want more WA news? Did you know we offer a local version of the ABC News homepage? Watch below to see how you can set yours, and get more WA stories. How to set your state news edition(Gfycat) Nine schools in Geraldton have modified areas for students with autism, with some utilising large spaces for sensory activities and therapy programs….