Support at school for students with autism

​If they need it, your child with autism can get extra support at school to help their learning and development.

The law says schools should make reasonable adjustments so students with disability have the same opportunities as their peers.

Our site also has general information for children with additional needs at school.

How schools support children with autism

Best practice is a ‘whole school approach’ for autism. This means the school community should work together to support autistic children.

To achieve this, schools make sure:

  • the school has an inclusive culture
  • staff have up-to-date knowledge about autism
  • teachers use student strengths and interests to plan the curriculum
  • everyone who works with a child communicates and collaborates with each other
  • autistic children can take part in and contribute to their local community.

Learning

No two children are the same. If needed, teachers can make reasonable adjustments to support your child's participation. For example, the teacher could:

Support is also available if your child has learning difficulties.

Student support groups

A student support group can help make sure your child gets the right support at school. It gives you the opportunity to work with your child’s teachers to make decisions about their education.

Student support services

Your child’s school has access to student support services who can work with your child. For example, psychologists and social workers.

Autism specialist schools

All children have the right to enrol in their designated neighbourhood government school.

Students with high needs, who are eligible for the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD), may also be able to go to a specialist school.

Some specialist schools are for children with autism:

Support for schools

Support materials for teachers

Teachers have access to autism support materials, which include:

  • information about autism
  • ways teachers can support the learning and development of autistic children.

Professional development for teachers

Schools provide regular professional development opportunities for teachers and other school staff.  This includes the Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders course.

We offer subsidies for the Graduate Diploma of Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is run by the Autism Teaching Institute.

Accessible buildings

Your child’s school can get support to make their buildings more accessible for children with additional needs. This includes the Accessible Buildings Program.

Language and learning disabilities support

The Language and Learning Disabilities Support Program gives schools resources to help them teach students with autism. Support includes teaching staff, equipment and professional development.

Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD)

The Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) gives extra resources to schools to help them support eligible children with disability or high needs.