Island Montessori has a much higher than average proportion of children with special needs in relation to “typical” children.
Approximately 25% of our school population has special needs including children with autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, seizure disorders, chromosomal anomalies, hearing and vision impairments, global developmental delays, physical disabilities, brain injuries and so on.
We have children with extremely high, complex needs who require one-to-one support at all times and a great deal of professional therapy services. Many of our children with special needs arrive at our doorstep with a diagnosis, but some do not. Our staff is able to support parents through the assessment process that often is very complex, emotionally draining and time consuming.
When children with special needs attend Island Montessori, their families pay no more than any other family who attends and yet the need for support and integration can be quite significant including direct support of the children, co-ordinating programs between home and school, communicating with parents, implementing the recommendations of professionals such as speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists or behavioural consultants, attending meetings and modifying materials.
Funding from Supported Child Development and other sources often do not cover all the costs. However, at Island Montessori, we provide whatever level of support is necessary for the child regardless of the funding provided. This may mean direct one to one support for a child with complex medical needs or even two adults with one child should the child’s behaviour dictate that this is necessary.
We always look at the needs of the child first and how best fit the program to their needs and ability. All of our staff are highly trained and continually upgrade their knowledge and skills through extensive professional development.