Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Lighthouse School - Leeds, Yorkshire, UK

Region’s first special needs free school for the autistic approved - Education - Yorkshire Post

THE FIRST special education free school in Yorkshire for pupils with autism will open next year.

The Lighthouse School in Leeds was one eight special or alternative provision free schools across the country to be given the go-ahead this week by Ministers.

The decision marks the fulfilment of a seven-year dream for a group of parents of children with autism who have developed the plans.

The new school will be for 50 pupils between the ages of 11 and 19 with statements of special educational needs and will be based in part of a former school building in Pudsey which is now empty.

More @

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

School uses dogs to help autistic students

School uses dogs to help autistic students in the classroom : News :

FLUSHING -- Two years ago, special education teachers at Central Elementary School in Flushing never dreamed they would see their autistic students walking a dog.

"The first time the dogs came in, it was utter chaos," said special education aide, Pam Weisenburger.

But now students are petting, feeding and even hugging their new friends Lelia and Brewtus. Children enter this classroom when they are six and leave when they are 12.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Family First Preparatory Academy Closes after just 3 Weeks. Special Needs Parents Scramble

West Side private school closes after a month - News - The Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Christopher Vance was surprised when his wife asked him to pick up his son from school on Tuesday.

Family First Preparatory Academy, on Charleston's West Side, closed its doors Tuesday after a month of classes, with no warning to parents. Thirty families were left scrambling to find their children another place to go to school.

Vance, whose 6-year-old autistic son also is named Christopher, said the boy was doing well at the "character-based" school, where a staff of five teachers could provide more personalized attention.

"I don't know what to do," said Vance, standing with his son outside the school, located in the Rehoboth Cathedral on Main Street. "I'm back at square one.

"I feel more for the kids than the teachers," Vance said. "The kids were just beginning to bond with their teachers. I can't put him back in public school like I did last year and have to fight with them day after day."


Thursday, August 25, 2011

60 Essential Twitter Feeds for Following Autism Education | Online Colleges

60 Essential Twitter Feeds for Following Autism Education | Online Colleges

Autism has received a lot of national media attention in recent years, largely because the number of children diagnosed has risen sharply. Whether this is due to better diagnostic testing or some yet undiscovered genetic or environmental factor is still to be determined. Either way, its increased prevalence has made it necessary for educators and parents alike to work hard and learn more about autism, from spotting the early signs to the best ways autistic children can learn and thrive. Keeping up with the latest news and information can be a full time job, but social media may prove one fairly effortless way to do so.

We’ve collected 60 Twitter feeds here that will help you to keep up with all the latest news on autism, from charities working to help diagnosed individuals to new discoveries by scientists and researchers — even some support and inspiration from parents raising afflicted children. No matter what drives your interest in autism, you’re bound to find some tweets among these feeds that will help you better understand and work with those who have the condition.

These feeds will ensure you always know the latest in autism research and news.

  1. @theautismnews: This feed is a great follow if you want easy access to a wide range of news articles on autism and autism spectrum disorders.
  2. @autism_research: Check out this Twitter feed to find a great collection of articles that may be of interest to parents and professionals in the autism field.
  3. @autismbulletin: Make sure you stay in the loop when it comes to autism news by reading this regularly updated feed.
  4. @TheCoffeeKlatch: Geared towards parents, this feed is an excellent resource for practical articles on living with autism and the latest research being done.
  5. @asteens: Find some great posts about autism news and more, specifically dealing with the disorder’s impact on teens, through this organization’s feed.
  6. @autismtalk: Host of Autism Talk Radio, Steven Prussack, keeps this feed loaded with links to his show’s latest recordings.
  7. @anne_barbano: Anne Barbano hosts a radio show that focuses on autism and other disabilities. Check out her latest topics of discussion here.
  8. @thinkingautism: Here you’ll find links to some amazingly informative essays written by parents, professionals and those with autism.
MORE HERE. Click to see #9 - #60 @ OnlineColleges.Net

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pathfinder Academy in Jacksonville - Summer Program

Autism school holds summer program to prep students |

JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) -- Pathfinder Inc. in Jacksonville has opened a middle school for children with autism. The school year begins on Aug. 15 and the organization is holding a summer program to prepare the students for the school year.

"It's exciting. Exciting for me because when he was in public school I would never go have lunch with him because he would cry when I left."

Lisa Bamburg's son, Joel, is one of eight students enrolled in the new Pathfinder Academy in Jacksonville. Joel and his classmates have autism. He's working on a basic skill, brushing his teeth, when we visit his classroom.

Director Tim Thomas says they are ready for the academy's first official year to begin.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Good Shepherd Catholic School at Mercy (Autism School)

Mercy Health Center to open school for autistic children in Oklahoma City |

Children with autism and patients who need rehabilitation will find help in a new multimillion-dollar Mercy Health Center school and hospital.

photo - This is an artist's drawing of the 50-bed Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital, at Memorial Road and MacArthur Boulevard. Construction is expected to begin Aug. 16 and be complete the fall of 2012.
This is an artist's drawing of the 50-bed Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital, at Memorial Road and MacArthur Boulevard. Construction is expected to begin Aug. 16 and be complete the fall of 2012.

The state's first school for autistic children, The Good Shepherd Catholic School at Mercy, initially will provide special services for 20 children when it opens Aug. 22 on the hospital campus.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Struggle to find autism schools in the UK

BBC News - 'Struggle' to find autism schools

Almost half of parents of children with autism are having to wait more than a year to get their children into the right school, a survey carried out by the National Autistic Society has found.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Giant Steps Autism School Forges Relationship With Darien Lions Club - Lisle, IL Patch

Giant Steps Autism School Forges Relationship With Darien Lions Club - Lisle, IL Patch

From Darien Patch: The Lions Club’s motto is “We serve.” So when Darien Lion Steve Hiatt got the call that Giant Steps school in Lisle needed a hand with its auction in February, it was a no brainer.

A group from the club manned the coatroom, collecting over the course of the evening about $750 in tips, said Giant Steps special event planner Jeni Fulton. They donated the tips, of course, to Giant Steps.

What started with one tip jar at one event has blossomed into a rewarding relationship between the Darien Lions Club and Giant Steps.

With the Lions help at events such as the auction, pancake breakfasts and a recent school picnic, Giant Steps’ staff is able to spend more time interacting with parents and students, said Executive Director Bridget O’Connor.

More at

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Princeton Family Affected by Autism Thrives at Eden Institute, Special Olympics - Princeton, NJ Patch

Princeton Family Affected by Autism Thrives at Eden Institute, Special Olympics - Princeton, NJ Patch

Eden Institute, located in Plainsboro, provides year round educational services for people with autism between the ages of 3-21.

Eden Institute for Autism

About Eden : Eden Autism Services

Eden's philosophy of lifespan services is based upon the premise that the majority of individuals with autism require services throughout their lifetime. While the extent to which these services are needed will differ from person to person, their specialized nature will not.

Lifespan services are at the core of Eden's service continuum that ranges from early intervention programming to services for older adults with autism. Lifespan services are the vehicle by which individuals who have autism continue to learn and to grow - and to become active, contributing members of their communities.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Peninsula School for Autism

Autistic children's school: Newport News families opening special school geared to needs of autistic children -

The Peninsula School for Autism is expected to open this fall in Newport News, and it appears it would be the first private school on the Peninsula specifically devoted to autistic children.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Autism school in city provides academic and behavioral health services to students

Autism school in city provides academic and behavioral health services to students

At NHS Autism School, a classroom of seven starts the day by picking someone to hold the flag for the morning salute. Upstairs, a small group of students is already searching for adjectives on worksheets, with several aides nearby.

Down the hall in an emotional support classroom, a teacher asks students questions one by one.

Teacher Kelly Dugan asks a boy to count to 25 and helps him along. Some of the students stray from their chairs and struggle to focus.

The next student counts backwards from 20.

When he gets stuck, Dugan points out the numbers.

The schedule on the wall lists writing, reading, math, lunch, grooming, cooking and gym class.

The school in south Reading, which serves students on all grade levels, is a licensed private school that provides academic and behavioral health services to students with special needs. And there is a need here for such a school. Since it opened four years ago, it has quickly outgrown its enrollment projections for students with special needs, said school director Corlene Ocker.

More @

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Matthew Israel, Founder of the School of Shock JREC, to Face Criminal Charges (VIDEO)

Matthew Israel, Founder of the School of Shock JREC, to Face Criminal Charges (VIDEO)

When I first heard about the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JREC) in Canton, Massachusetts, I couldn't believe that such a school existed. The JREC is a school for that uses electric shocks to discipline students with disabilities including autism, mental retardation or emotional-behavioral issues. The school was founded by a Harvard-trained psychologist, Matthew Israel and has long attracted controversy among disability rights activists, parents and experts in the field of mental health.

Today, the Boston Globe reports that Israel faces criminal charges over an incident in 2007, when two teenagers with disabilities who were residents at the JREC were wrongfully administered a number of shocks after a prank phone call by someone posing as a supervisor ordered them.

If the use of electric skin shock on children with disabilities is not troubling and barbaric enough, the suit against Israel also suggests how woefully poor the JREC's administrative practices are and also brings into question the training and supervision of its staff at all levels. From the Boston Globe:

A court official who works at the Norfolk County Superior Court said that today's schedule of cases lists a defendant named Matthew Israel facing two charges, misleading a grand jury and accessory after the fact to a crime.

The charges against Israel are believed to be related to the destruction of some of the center's digital surveillance tapes that would have showed what occurred the night of Aug. 26, 2007, in one of the center's residential group homes in Stoughton. That night, staffers received a prank phone call from someone posing as a supervisor, saying two teenagers, including Dumas's son, should be administered electrical shocks as punishment for bad behavior earlier that day.


Youngstown News, School is specially suited for autistic students

Youngstown News, School is specially suited for autistic students

The Potential Development School of Autism on the Southeast Side is a single-story building fitted for the unique 55 students it educates.

With hallway floors lined with tape telling students where to go and dividers between desks, the school is structured to give easily distracted autistic children the best opportunity at an education — an education that may not be possible at a public school.

“Instead of getting an appropriate education, their socials skills or their anxieties are holding them back,” said Marilyn Fielding, its director. “We, here, are trained to deal with those kinds of things.”

One important aspect of their education is sensory breaks, or mini-recesses, autistic students frequently need between lessons.

“I can’t tell you how that’s turned around some of our kids,” Fielding said.

A large sensory-break area for the students at the 880 E. Indianola Ave. school, however, is incomplete. A jungle gym occupies half of a playground while the other half is filled with mounds of dirt.

When preparing the ground, workers dug down and discovered water flowing downhill from an old hospital next door. They were forced to lay pipe which diverted the water but also shot up the cost of construction.

More ...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

175% Jump in Autism Diagnoses Forces Schools to Adapt - Los Alamitos-Seal Beach, CA Patch

175% Jump in Autism Diagnoses Forces Schools to Adapt - Los Alamitos-Seal Beach, CA Patch

The number of children diagnosed with autism in the Los Alamitos Unified School District has nearly tripled in the last eight years, prompting district officials to hire a behavioral specialist to manage the district’s special-education needs.

Between 2002 and 2010, the district experienced a 175 percent increase in the number of students with the autism spectrum disorder, for a total of 152 students. In total, the district has 800 students with special needs. It’s a trend reflected in districts around the nation, and it has a significant impact on the classroom.

In the past, the Los Alamitos school district contracted with an outside agency instead of having its own behavioral specialist.

Monday, April 25, 2011

PBS 'NewsHour' shines spotlight on efforts of Bronx Autism school

PBS 'NewsHour' shines spotlight on efforts of Bronx Autism school

A Bronx school for children with autism stars on television tonight.

A PBS "NewsHour" segment at 7 p.m. features Public School 176X in Co-op City. It serves nearly 700 children with the disorder.

Part of a "NewsHour" series on autism hosted by legendary news anchor Robert MacNeil, the segment compares PS 176X with a small charter school in Manhattan that boasts one teacher for every student.

It also looks at the heart-wrenching impacts of the disorder on parents, such as Jesse Mojica, education director for Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and grandparents, like MacNeil.

"So often, we parents feel powerless to help," Mojica said yesterday. His son has attended PS176X.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Whiz Kid Cole Cook: Raising Money for Autism - Levittown, NY Patch

Whiz Kid Cole Cook: Raising Money for Autism - Levittown, NY Patch

The Elija School (Empowering Long Island's Journey Through Autism)- Levittown, NY Patch

The Elija School - Levittown, NY Patch

Empowering Long Island's Journey Through Autism

Established in 2006, the Elija School is located right next to the Levittown Community Church. This school is specifically for children with autism, as they offer many specialized and one-on-one programs for children of all ages. They have a fenced in playground in the back for the students to enjoy.

The Elija School also provides life skills and social classes. They play a key role in raising autism awareness in the community.

  • Hours: School is 12 months, full days
  • Handicap Accessible: Ramp accessible from parking lot
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Student-to-teacher ratio: 1:1
  • Parking: Free lot, On-street: free
  • How engaged is the school with the community?: Very, they play a key role in autism awareness and fundraising
School Website:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ISMILE School for Autism

Running long distance for autism school - River Cities -

ISMILE, which cleverly stands for Institute for Special Minds Interacting in Learning Environment, is a nonprofit outreach program in Miami Springs that strives to help children with autism discover their true abilities. It was created in response to the large demand for effective programs in South Florida helping parents with the expense of quality therapies.

“We started out five years ago with just four kids and we had up to 12 at one point and now have 10,” said ISMILE executive director Juliana Schaffer. “We’re very grateful to the folks here at Grace Lutheran who have been so generous to share their facilities with us and extremely indebted to Mr. Dominguez, who has offered up his running talents to help us raise much-needed funding.”

Friday, March 4, 2011

Temple Grandin School

New Boulder school will serve students who have Asperger's Syndrome - The Denver Post

A school serving grades 6-12 and specializing in students with Asperger's Syndrome and similar learning disorders will open next fall in Boulder County.

The independent Temple Grandin School, named for the Colorado State University professor, animal scientist and autism advocate, will feature a student-teacher ratio of 6-to-1 and combine social and educational supports with challenging academics.

The school will be located in Lafayette.


Consequently, organizers are planning to start small — about 20-40 students in the first year of operation. Tuition will be about $20,000 per year, which includes core instruction condensed into four days with a fifth day devoted to directing students to pursue their individual interests.

Read more: New Boulder school will serve students who have Asperger's Syndrome - The Denver Post
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The K.I.T.E. Center (Autism, Jackson, TN)

The K.I.T.E. Center
Jackson, TN

The KITE Center is designed to provide individualized educational programs for students with learning differences, language delays and Autism so each student can achieve the height of their potential.

The KITE Center offers individualized skill level curriculum and therapy programs for development of language, socialization and behavior.

The K.I.T.E. Center offers developmental therapy and individualized educational services including: curriculum, language, social skills and behavioral development. The ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) approach is utilized in conjunction with the discrete trial protocol for a comprehensive and individualized program using multi modalities, reinforcing each child's strengths and improving areas of weakness.

This method of teaching has been proven effective for teaching a variety of skills in small, incremental steps that give students credit for any advancement in level of performance.

Our low student/teacher ratio allows for a truly comprehensive and individualized curriculum and therapy program and the added component of practicing skills in a hands on environment makes The KITE Center a revolutionary program designed to meet the needs of a variety of students with special attention given to each student's needs and each families concerns.

Visit the Kite Center here.

The Highlands Center for Autism

The Highlands Center for Autism
Highlands Center for Autism
5080 Ky. Rt. 321
Prestonsburg, Ky. 41653
(606) 889-6115

The Highlands Center for Autism is a private, year-round day school serving children from the earliest diagnosis through school age. The educational foundation of our program is based on ABA, which is an approach that is grounded in decades of research. We offer the only center-based program in Kentucky using ABA in a clinical educational setting. We are a mirror program of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism.

Governor Tours Highlands Center for Autism

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Palm Beach School for Autism Implements Apple iPads in Curriculum

Using funds received from a TD Charitable Foundation grant, The Palm Beach School for Autism purchased 15 Apple iPads to be implemented in both the general curriculum and with the speech and language therapists. Studies have shown that the use of Apple iPads can extend short attention spans, demonstrate understanding, and improve communication skills. Applications like Proloquo2Go provide a full-featured communication solution for people who have difficulty speaking. It brings natural sounding text-to-speech voices, up-to-date symbol, powerful automatic conjugations, default vocabulary of over 7,000 items, full expandability and extreme ease of use to the iPad.

"The Apple iPad fosters improvement across a wide area of skills such as visual and auditory memory, independent functioning, social/emotional, receptive/expressive language, pragmatic/social language and cognitive skills,” said Paula Perretz, speech and language pathologist. “Children with autism have different styles of learning, and the iPad addresses both auditory and visual learning styles. The iPad has apps which help increase desire and motivation to learn, attention to task, short and long term memory, and enables the interaction and development of communication as it is truly a revolutionary high tech dynamic display AAC device.”

The Palm Beach School for Autism, a charter school located in Lantana, Florida provides a developmentally appropriate intense behavior intervention program for children with autism and related disabilities. It addresses the learning needs of its students through individual educational plans, a highly trained teaching staff and choice of curricula to suit the individual needs of the student.

For more information about The Palm Beach School for Autism, please contact Josh Hirsch at (561) 533-9917 or via e-mail at You can also find us on the Web at
# # #

About The Palm Beach School for Autism:
The mission of The Palm Beach School for Autism is to provide a developmentally appropriate education using intensive behavioral strategies for students with autism spectrum disorder and related disabilities..

The vision and purpose of The Palm Beach School for Autism is to demonstrate that all age students with autism spectrum disorder can learn to lead successful & fulfilling lives through a structured educational program using strategies tailored to each student’s needs.

We address the learning needs of the students that we serve through individual educational plans, a highly trained teaching staff and the choice of curricula to suit the individual needs of the student. Each student’s program will be designed with their unique behavioral traits in mind to overcome their cognitive weaknesses and emphasize their strengths. Behavioral modification is critical to reach academic success for the child with autism spectrum disorder.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Former Sheffield school bought for children with autism

A former girl's private school in Sheffield is to become a school for children with special needs.

Brantwood School, in Nether Edge closed in February 2010 after the Royal Bank of Scotland said it was no longer financially viable.

The building has been bought by Freeman College to become a residential school for seven to 18-year-olds with autism.

David Huff director of Freeman College said he was "delighted" and hoped the school would open in September.

... More at BBC

Monday, January 17, 2011

More Autism Schools Proposed in New Jersey - Good or bad thing?

More Autism Schools Proposed in New Jersey

Gov. Chris Christie has proposed creating additional specialized public schools for educating children with autism in New Jersey, a departure from the current practice in many communities of integrating those children into neighborhood schools.

The governor proposed creating “centers for excellence” in every county, suggesting that such schools could save money for districts and ensure a higher quality of instruction. He told the audience at a town-hall-style meeting in Paramus on Thursday night that “the start-up costs of these programs, if you do it district-by-district, are mind-blowing and the quality is variable.”

Parents and advocates are split over the idea of creating specialized schools for children with autism, reflecting a larger debate nationally over whether those children are best served in separate programs or in general-education classes.

Critics of the idea say that children with disabilities gain valuable academic and social skills from interacting with their peers without disabilities, and also develop closer ties to their communities.

“We’re horrified at this suggestion to have another segregated setting for children with autism in every county in New Jersey,” said Diana Autin, executive co-director of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, a nonprofit group that assists families. “It would also send a message to parents that children with autism can’t be included.”