News

Program to help kids with autism thrive

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March 02, 2018

“After the success of last year’s program we’ve decided to run it again; of the 15 students who started the program we had 14 finish the year,” Campaspe Youth Partnerships project worker Cheryl Sweeney said.

SUPPORT for struggling students in our schools is set to continue.

After the successful introduction of the I CAN program, Campaspe Youth Network is continuing the mentoring program this year.

The program helps students with autism who are struggling to cope in the school environment through weekly one-on-one mentoring sessions and group activities for primary students.

Campaspe Youth Partnerships will work with Kyabram P-12 and St Augustine’s again this year to provide the program to students in the area.

“After the success of last year’s program we’ve decided to run it again; of the 15 students who started the program we had 14 finish the year,” Campaspe Youth Partnerships project worker Cheryl Sweeney said.

“Because the kids were on the spectrum they weren’t necessarily falling behind academically, it was socially, which then affects their academic performance.

“The secondary program is about teaching the kids to embrace their autism rather than hide it and the students from last year will be going into their second year of mentoring.”

I CAN enabling officer Chris Varney said the program also helps show the students’ talent to the community.

“Our programs are designed to make sure children on the spectrum don’t fall through the cracks and help the people in the students’ lives and communities see what they can do, not what they can’t,” he said.

“We’ve had lots of success with this at a local level, in over 15 schools and several regional areas.”

This year will also see the introduction of the Imagination Club, a group for primary students to engage in school.

“We’re excited to begin the primary-based program for another 15 students this year,” Ms Sweeney said.

“Students don’t have to be on the spectrum for this group, all they need is an imagination.

“Our Network Leader Kate Andrews and local mentors will facilitate the programs in the schools.”

Parents, young people and family members are invited to attend an information session about I CAN directly from the founder and enabling officer of the organisation.

There will also be the opportunity to register expressions of interest for young people to participate in the mentoring program.

The information session will be held tomorrow night at 5.45pm at Kyabram Community and Learning Centre.

For more information contact Cheryl Sweeney on 0400 896 295 or by emailing [email protected]

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