After more than 20 of years working closely with the Autism community, Elissa Brinckman was a driving force behind last year’s development of The Sycamore School, a new education facility designed specifically for young people with Autism.
“Creating the pedagogical frameworks, the individualised curriculum, the culture and values of the community is something I am very proud to be a part of," Ms Brinckman says.
“Seeing the young people flourish and build connections has been incredible and having the opportunity to create a place of celebration has certainly been a career highlight for me.”
Following the completion of her degree, Ms Brinckman moved to London where she worked in a vast array of specialist schools, many of which supported students with ASD. Upon returning from the UK, she spent more than 10 years with Autism Queensland before moving to The Sycamore School.
“In conjunction with this, I believe in building a community that is supportive and understanding and one that celebrates their unique strengths and abilities, as well as supporting them to overcome their barriers to learning."
“Creating a curriculum that adapts to the individual needs of each young person, putting each at the centre, is so very important to their success."
“Giving each child a chance to build independence, self-esteem and self-advocacy, is always a desired outcome and one that I strive to work towards every single day.”
Ms Brinckman says that while there is always a need for continuous development, schools are becoming increasingly aware of how to support people with ASD.
“Many students with an ASD diagnosis thrive in our mainstream schools; however, some do find it challenging and may even be a little misunderstood."
“I believe that ongoing support is required by ASD educators and leaders to ensure that schools are equipped appropriately, so that individuals diagnosed with ASD are continually supported."
Ms Brinckman is a finalist in this year’s Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) Outstanding Contribution to School Community Award.
“As I rapidly approach the 20-year anniversary of the completion of my Bachelor of Education degree, I reflect on my career and the numerous young people that have touched my heart over the years," said Ms Brinckman.
“I am blessed to be in a profession that gives so much back. No one goes into the teaching profession for accolades or recognition and I feel very humbled to be a finalist in the Excellence in Teaching Awards. I am truly honoured.”
Congratulations Ms Brinckman on being named a finalist.