Open day info session by Autism Spectrum Australia on proposed school in Yenda

Eleven-year-old Noah can name every capital city in the world and the population of each country.

“He is a bit of a mini-Casanova too, he’s got the girls wrapped around his finger,” Noah’s mum Dene Beltrame said. 

Like a number of children on the autism spectrum, he’s intelligent and learns quickly.

“The issue with these kids is they often don’t have any filters, they’ll tell you exactly what they think,” Ms Beltrame said, adding they sometimes don’t fit in to either special or mainstream schools.  

She’s therefore excited about the potential of a specialist school for such children opening at the now vacant St Therese primary school in Yenda. 

Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT) will host an open day at the school from 11am to 1pm on Thursday. 

ASPECT Riverina president Jo Gillespie said model classrooms will be set up to show parents how the school might function.

“We need about 10-12 enrollments for it to be viable.”

St Therese closed in December 2016 due to low enrollments.

Peter Cremasco, chairman of school’s administrative authority supports ASPECT’s proposal.

“It makes good use of a resource lying dormant,” he said. 

Ms Beltrame, who is president of Griffith Autism Support Group, said the classes would give  children the “opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential”.

If you wish to attend the St Therese school site open day information session in Yenda, please contact Jo Gillespie on (02) 6057 3777 or by email on