We have what we affectionately call the “buffet of services and needs” here at LME. Learners on every level and need of the educational curve, many with severe and profound situations, seek out our school and contribute daily to our learning community in extraordinary ways, truly a blessing for all involved! April is Autism Awareness Month, however, we embrace awareness everyday.
According to the National Association of School Psychologists 2010 report, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a complex group of related disabilities marked by impairments in communication and socialization, a limited range of interests, and the presence of repetitive behaviors. Cognitive skills, social skills, communication skills, and organizational or self-directional skills may be affected in varying degrees. Additionally, the number of children diagnosed with ASD has risen in the U.S. with recent statistics reporting 1 of 40 boys and 1 of 89 girls have ASD. Students with some form of ASD present unique learning challenges and opportunities for educators and the families who support them.
I marvel at the progress of our LME friends with ASD. From the unconditional love, dedication, and encouragement of their families (who do an amazing job of supporting our academic and behavioral goals), to the individual educational strides each child makes in the general education setting, we work as partners and participating members in the process. Teachers learn and implement instructional and behavioral strategies making strong impacts and a big difference for everyone in the classroom.
Here’s a little secret you need to know: The real JOY lies in the way all students interact and assist one another on our campus. We are blessed with students who have a real heart for helping each other, no matter the needs. Inclusiveness is paramount to personal success for all involved! Being aware offers information for fresh insight, opens new doors, and starts important conversations about how to improve outcomes for all students, no matter the need. Are you aware?