Schools and education
Choosing the right pre-school / school, whether mainstream or special, will depend on factors such as your child’s personality, how they are affected by their special needs and the facilities the school can offer. Generally across Australia, the education philosophy is one of inclusion for special needs children.
There are many types of schooling that you may consider for your child, depending on what is available in your particular State / Territory.
- Full integration without any special resources or extra help.
- Full integration with some additional resources, for help with getting around, eating, writing, using the toilet etc.
- Attending a special unit within the school and joining in specially selected activities at the main school.
- A special school for children with special educational needs.
It is important to plan for your child's full integration without any special resources or extra help.
It is important to plan for your child’s schooling as soon as your posting notification is received. Each State / Territory has their own definition of "special needs" especially when it comes to ADD / ADHD, learning disabilities and learning difficulties and the level and type of assistance the child will receive.
For Gifted Students, it is best to check whether that State / Territory has a Gifted Policy and what assistance can be provided for these students.
The new pre-school / school may wish for your child to be "assessed" to determine what level of funding is needed to provide the necessary support. As there are many different forms of assessments, it may not recognise your child’s previous one.
Funding for additional support eg teacher aide is usually made in September / October for the following year. However, in some States / Territories, aide support particularly for pre-school is done on a monthly basis.
If your child is gifted, check with the REDLO as to whether there is any formal assessment required to access assistance or accelerated programs.
Advice on schooling, from pre-school to tertiary can be obtained from the DCO REDLO, so please contact them for help.
When you are posted there are many things you must consider depending on your family’s special needs. You must be aware that for some services there is a long waiting list (ie 6 months or more). Waiting lists can apply to:
- Medical appointments;
- Therapy requirements;
- Assessments (medical and educational);
If you or your child is on specialist medication eg: Ritalin, remember that your script may not be valid in your new State / Territory. Please check with your local Pharmacy, your Doctor or contact the DSNSG.
As soon as you are notified of your posting, you should start putting into place your medical and health needs. The check-list we have provided in this booklet may assist you.
To assist with the problems associated with a posting when you have a dependant with special needs, the ADF has introduced a range of assistance measures.