August 1, 2013 was the first day of class for students at Intermountain Academy in Tucson, Arizona. The school, utilizing the space of what used to be Howenstine High School, provides one-on-one education services to students with autism from pre-k to 5th grade. This school is supplemental to existing programs, giving these students the opportunity for a smaller class size, as typical class sizes can be overwhelming and distracting for these students.
One student, Kymonni Daniels, is already benefiting from the services she is receiving, and her mother, Phoebe, could not be happier. Phoebe had done extensive research on schooling for her autistic daughter, and Intermountain Academy was the best choice. Her daughter is a lot happier than normal coming home from school and has already learned to write the letter “K”. Cyndee Win, Education Program Specialist at Intermountain Academy, explains that by providing each student with a one-on-one, the child has the opportunity to take a break if necessary and each activity can be tailored to his or her specific needs. Win also explains that “social interaction is really important for our students…getting them to play together in an experience like that after the fourth day of school, fifth day of school? Amazing!” [i]
Providing children with autism and other developmental disabilities the specific education they need is crucial, as many have sensory issues and the like. Shema Kolainu- Hear Our Voices offers students numerous therapy services, including speech therapy, ABA therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc. The teachers and staff are trained to assess each situation with care, to ensure the success of each student.
[i] “News 4 Tucson” New school for students with autism. 13 Aug 2013. Web. <http://www.kvoa.com/news/new-school-for-students-with-autism/#!prettyPhoto/0/>