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(Australia) NSW: New $1.85M autism school for 50 students; "withdrawal rooms" for stress

July 2, 2018, (Australia) New South Wales, Tweed Daily News: Doors open at special school for autistic children in Tweed https://www.tweeddailynews.com.au/news/doors-open-at-special-school-for-autistic-children/3457126/ THE new Pacific Hope School is creating a safer space for children with autism to get an education. The school, which shares its campus with Pacific Coast Christian College at Tweed Heads West, is just the second school in New South Wales to specifically cater for educating those with autism. … School director Klaus Knobloch said the $1.85 million project, which received $700,000 in Federal funding, would be a great learning space for the 50 students enrolled as well as for their parents. "It's the largest autism school in South East Queensland and Northern NSW,” Mr Knobloch said. … Each classroom features a withdrawal room designed as a retreat for students when they're not coping. "The withdrawal rooms make a big difference because autistic children can have meltdowns when they are overstimulated or when not coping in social settings,” Mr Knobloch said…. "Each student has different ways of letting the teacher know when they're not coping, some show flapping hands, some hold their ears, some freeze and some throw themselves on the floor. "They're all different ways of showing they're having an emotional meltdown and that's when we take them to the withdrawal room. … "We have 17 staff and we've got one teacher and two teacher aides in each classroom. "We've got a school councillor, an occupational therapist and hopefully next year we'll be able employ a speech therapist.” …

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