A new literacy program for students at Albury's Aspect School will "pick them up before they have a chance to fall", principal Jane Carrington has said.
The InitialLit program, which will provide Kindergarten and Year 1 students on the autism spectrum with a strong foundation in reading and writing, has been made possible with a $10,000 grant from Border Trust.
Ms Carrington said the very welcome funds would allow three teachers to be trained by Macquarie University to fully resource the three classrooms of 18 students.
"It means we can help our youngest students hit the ground running," she said.
"This is a well-researched and proven program in multi-sensory, synthetic phonics; it's a fantastic way to assist students who require additional repetition and a sensory learning approach."
The aim, ultimately, is to reduce the number of children needing support in higher grades.
Recent data collected at Aspect schools on student literacy levels identified that more than 80 per cent of autistic students were working below their age-appropriate levels, the school wrote as part of its submission to Border Trust's grants scheme.
"As a school this is not something that sits well with our teaching community, hence we aim to do whatever we can to give our students on the autism spectrum a chance to reach their full potential," it stated.
"The program addresses the initial instruction in the hope that by providing strong foundations in reading and writing from the outset, fewer children will fall behind and require more intensive intervention.
"Increasing our students' literacy levels ... will enable them to access more opportunities during both their primary, high school and post-school life."
Ms Carrington said the program would position the youngest students perfectly for the transition to the next stages of their learning.