Best Schools & Programs for Children with Autism
Every child on the autism spectrum requires something different to thrive in their social and academic life. Autism is a complex disorder that impacts learning, communication, and language. In addition, many autistic children also struggle with learning disabilities. These factors take a significant toll on how students on the spectrum successfully access education and navigate social skills.
Indeed, education plays a massive role in the life of any child, however it’s even more imperative for an autistic child. This is where the best schools and specialized programs for children with autism can help.
Public and private schools across the country provide educational and therapeutic programs for children with autism and related developmental disorders. Both day and residential academic programs offer dedicated academic instructions to children on the spectrum while also enhancing vocational skills, independent living, and behavior.
Below we’ve listed some of the best programs for children with autism that can help autistic children flourish academically and socially.
Top Schools & Programs for Children with Autism
The following schools and programs specialize in educating autistic children and are nationally renowned for their accomplishments:
Land Park Academy
Located in Sacramento, California, the Land Park Academy is a behavioral-based program that offers an excellent educational program to children living with autism. The academy is a private entity which serves children between the ages of 3 up till 22 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The Land Park Academy strives to make autistic students successful in the conventional public-school environment, using various therapies and IEP (Individualized Education Plan) goals.
The Autism Academy of Learning
Situated in Toledo, Ohio, The Autism Academy of Learning is a public charter school operating throughout the year for individuals who’ve been diagnosed with some type of autism disorder. The academy also accepts students who might be living with some other form of disabilities in addition to autism. The Autism Academy of Learning specializes in providing these students with a solid foundation in vocational skills, daily living, and behavior management skills. It also focuses heavily on academic learning.
Located in Minnetonka, Minnesota, the Lionsgate Academy is popularly known for its intensive education plans and student-centered philosophy, making it an excellent place for children with high functioning autism. Each student’s PLP (Personalized Learning Plan) and IEP (Individualized Education Plan) entail practical steps towards acquiring a solid education coupled with real-life skills that can be used after graduation. The Lionsgate Academy also offers a special program for twice-exceptional children. The academy serves students in grades 7 through 12.
Located in Wichita, Kansas, the Heartspring School was Founded in 1934. The school provides a multi-disciplinary autism program in which several experts work collectively to serve the needs of autistic students via both residential education programs and classroom-based programs. The school admits children between the ages of 5 and 21.
Camphill Special School
Camphill Special School is a private school located in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. It focuses on serving kids with various autism spectrum disorders as well as other developmental and learning disabilities. The school provides both day and residential programs.
Things to Consider When Choosing Schools & Programs for Children with Autism
When choosing academic institutions or therapeutic programs for children with autism, it’s crucial to consider several factors, including your child’s development and learning needs and also the needs of your family. In USA, there’s a broad range of interventions for children on the spectrum, and it can be hard to select the best fit.
Here are few of the most important factors and questions to consider when choosing an autism program for children:
Is the program tailored to every student’s unique needs?
Is the autism program or school evidenced-based?
Do competent experts deliver the curriculum?
Are the child’s unique challenges and strengths considered?
Is the autism program evaluated and updated regularly?
Does the school/program focus on teaching real-world skills and academic abilities?
Does the school/program offer good value for the money and time invested?
When choosing a school or program for your kid, it’s equally essential to watch out for any red flags. Things that a program might not entirely be what it claims to be include:
Mass commercialization of the program
Lack of contact details
Claims of high and rapid success rates
Hard-sell techniques including special offers and limited-time discounts
Use of non-peer-reviewed or outdated research to support the program’s efficiency
Promises of complete recovery or a miracle/cure
Although there are several factors to consider on your hunt for the right autism program and school for your kid, please note that there are many evidenced-based and highly reputable schools/programs in the United States that are especially designed to support the success of every autistic child. These programs extend support and provide an array of services to help children living with autism reach their full personal, social, and academic potential.
Before selecting your child's educational path, it's essential to consider the criteria that makes a school or program an ideal fit for people with autism. Armed with common sense and sufficient research, you will be able to make the right decision for your kid.
If you’re searching for more informative blogs on autism spectrum disorder and the various ways to help autistic children flourish academically and socially, do check the rest of our blog section. Accel Therapies strives to assist parents and care givers of autistic children in gaining necessary knowledge to make informed decisions that’s best for them and their families.
We can help you make meaningful decisions to make sure your child or loved one lives an independent, happy life.