Autism support raises spirits

Sporting a fashionable blue hairdo, Costa the dog was the sartorial smash of the school on Wednesday as part of Autism Awareness Day.

Costa, a shih tzu-cross-Maltese, continued the theme as Corrimal High School went blue in support of ASPECT Australia. Corrimal High has five special education classes, with one specialised unit for students with autism.

Lisa Craig, teacher of one of the special education classes, thought turning her dog blue would be a fun way to highlight Autism Awareness Day, as students donned blue clothing and even dyed their own hair.

"ASPECT supports lots of our kids and their families," Ms Craig said.

"The blue fund-raiser brings attention to autism, and Costa has been so placid and patient. It's just a fun way to support the cause."

Andrew Georgiou, head teacher of the special education program and the school's learning support team co-ordinator, said the special education unit embedded at Corrimal gave students with disabilities the support they needed while also allowing them to be part of a mainstream school population.

More than 45 students are part of the unit, which increased from three to five classes in a year.

"It is imperative to allow students access to mainstream schooling, to help them reach their full potential," Mr Georgiou said.

"It is as inclusive as possible, creating understanding between all the students."

Costa, meanwhile, will stay blue for the time being; the dye takes time to wash out.

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