WAS is a complex school organisation which offers a range of educational programs for students diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. WAS operates a short term intensive program for early years primary students at the Laverton and Niddrie campuses, as well as offering limited places in specialist programs for upper primary and secondary students. Students are drawn from all corners of the Western Metropolitan Region and transported to and from school by a fleet of contract buses.
At Western Autistic School we have drawn on research-based knowledge and expertise to develop programs and services which positively impact the education of as many students with an ASD as possible. The school has been recognised by the DEECD as a Centre of Excellence in the Understanding and Education of Students with ASD. Our unique model incorporates best practice in the education of students with an ASD, enabling students to commence integration into mainstream or generic special schools with provision for ongoing support to staff and students. In 2011 WAS established a playgroup at the Laverton Campus in partnership with Play Connect. This playgroup is for children from 0-5 years with ASD, or ASD like symptoms, and their families.
Western Autistic School has established the Autism Teaching Institute (ATI) which is a Registered Training Organisation delivering training to mainstream teachers throughout Victoria. The ATI also established the Practical Autism Research Centre (PRAC) in 2010 and has formed partnerships with several universities to conduct research. Western Autistic School also offers significant outreach support to staff and students in primary and secondary schools across the Western Region of Melbourne.