New Gold Coast autism school thought to be Australian first

Josiah College opens in April


25 January 2018

Article heading image for New Gold Coast autism school thought to be Australian first

A school specifically designed for kids with autism, who need a soothing environment to work in, is almost ready to fling open its doors on the Gold Coast.

Josiah College launches in April, next door to Emmanuel College in Carrara.

It's been specially designed to appeal to children with sensory sensitivity, who find noise, flickering lights or the hum of aircon unbearable.

Principal of the new school, as well as Emmanuel College, Patrick Innes-Hill says plenty of kids on the spectrum work well in a regular classroom.

"Some kids with autism thrive in mainstream education and other need special education, but there's a group of children with autism who need a very special kind of environment," he said.

In what is thought to be an Australian first, this school has paid attention to every minor detail including the architecture, furniture, colours and even the movement of fans.

"A typical light-bulb in a classroom is a glaring lighthouse to many children with autism and a humming aircondition is a freight train, so the walls are treated in such a way that they reduce echo, light is a defused light that comes through the window so it doesn't glare and we even sourced a silent airconditioner," said Principal Innes-Hill

The school will eventually take on 64 students.

"We're beginning with 16, so that two classes of eight, but it is our plan to grow the school year on year," he said.

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