Open Access College Student Story - Primary student living in remote regional SA

The student enrolled under geographically remote category in 2013. She had been diagnosed with the following conditions:

• ASD and anxiety

• Intellectual development delay

• Auditory processing delay and speech language disorder

The family lives more than an hour’s drive from the nearest school.

Anxiety made attending face to face education challenging in terms of learning and socialising. Home schooling was tried for a short time prior to OAC enrolment.

The student was 10 years old and working at a level 4 to 5 years lower than her age therefore a highly modified program was put in place with focus on literacy and numeracy. Learning support for 3 sessions per week were provided.

A changed strategy was implemented in 2015 and the student was placed into an Individualised Learning Program (ILP) of 1 – 3 hours each day. The intent was to more effectively target literacy and numeracy and build social confidence. After one year in an Individualised Learning Program growth albeit small was evident and a second year was decided. Due to a range of challenges and disruptions this year was not as successful.

In 2017 the student moved into the Personalised Learning Program (PLP).

With support from the OAC Psychologist and Social Worker the student has become a client with Autism SA and services through NDIS have been accessed. Intensive Reading has been successful moving from level 5 in 2015 to well above 30. Support continues in Quick Smart literacy with the student reading novels and reporting that she loves books.

Now in her second year in PLP the student is flourishing. She understands her limitations but is striving to improve. Her social skills and confidence have developed and she sets goals while approaching new challenges with enthusiasm.

There have been gradual steps towards self-directed tasks including a Research Project based on her interests. The success has ignited confidence in such a way that she will give all new work a go; something not attempted in previous years.

The strategy of getting to know and understand the student including how they respond to a virtual classroom was important in defining an appropriate transition through school. Negotiating and developing a learning program with the student was important given the challenges faced. It has taken time for the student to flourish, however patience, engaging with support services and ongoing positive outlook from parents has seen success materialise this year. Services to benefit other family members have contributed to the success.

Last updated: 04 August 2020