Families with children on the autism spectrum are being invited to join a trial program at HJ Daley Library in Campbelltown which aims to introduce children 0 to 12 to library resources and programs in a relaxed and supported environment.
The Saturday morning early opening program is one of two components of the Library Education Autism Program (LEAP) trial, developed by Campbelltown City Council with the assistance of Macarthur Disability Services and Aspect Macarthur to create a more liveable and inclusive community.
The component involves families with children on the autism spectrum visiting the library before opening hours on a Saturday, between 8am and 9am, to become familiar with, explore and use the facility during a quiet time. Appointments will be necessary for this part of the program to ensure each individual child’s needs are met.
Parents will be asked about their child’s special interests, in addition to what they’d like to achieve for their child by participating in the program, to allow library team members to provide an individualised experience.
The second component, an eight-week music based program, will also be held for small groups of children, in partnership with Aspect Macarthur.
The LEAP trial will offer a more specialised program, complementing existing Campbelltown library service programs for children identified as being on the autism spectrum.
Mayor of Campbelltown, Cr George Brticevic, welcomed the LEAP trial and its aim to ensure all children had every opportunity to enjoy and learn from library resources and programs.
“Council is committed to breaking down barriers and providing opportunities for all members of our community to feel included and to contribute,” he said.
“The LEAP trial is part of that commitment, and I’m pleased children on the autism spectrum will have greater access to the library through the trial, but could also potentially improve their social skills and ability to develop safe relationships.”
The free Saturday morning early opening program will run from Saturday 14 October to Saturday 18 November, and bookings can be made online.