(To download an application, highlight & right click on the link above)It's hard to believe but the 2015-2016 school year is almost at an end! This was our seventh full year of classes, and our most successful yet! We've almost doubled in size, holding an average of 34 students in the school this year, and building our team to 8 wonderful professionals who work well with the students AND each other! We are happy to add Ms. Deborah Thomas, a certified CDA to our staff, and re-welcome Ms. Rhonda, our teaching assistant back to the fold! Both women have made a seamless entry into our program and have provided us all with much needed support! We're hoping to see all 8 faculty members back NEXT fall! Parents too have to complete an Intent to Enroll form to hold your spot for next year; these forms recently went home with your students.
Before we JUMP to the fall, let's talk about what your plans are for the summer. There are two things we know for an absolute fact about kids on the spectrum:
1) They require a predictable, stable daily schedule - though they might tell you they like unscheduled time, and video game marathons, what we KNOW about these children is that this type of unpredictable schedule spikes their anxiety. Starting your very first day of summer, you should have a daily schedule, even at home. Parcel out computer and TV time in between chores, bike rides, and outdoor activities - I used to even include arts and crafts!
2) Our students can easily lose the academic skills they stop practicing! No matter what your plans are for the summer, you need to include time each week, maybe just an hour or two a day to practice their skills - there are a number of Summer-based workbooks that help your child bridge the skills they learned this past year with what they will be expected to have mastered by their next grade. These books can be purchased at any local bookstore and include small daily activities AND some have great summer science experiments so the kids can make crafts and interact with their learning. These are great because they don't take up too much of your summer, but you know they aren't losing their vital skill set for next year.
One idea I saw on Facebook, suggests that you give your children a chore list to complete in order to get the daily WiFi access code. I think that's a great idea!! Whatever you do, remember that a summer on the computer is not what's best for our kids - no matter how they beg!
Finally, we have Camp CHASE available for all families with autism and their siblings! Starting June 20th, we have a weekly-themed day camp. Week I begins Animals Attack with all sorts of games, crafts and activities to help kids discover more about animals! Each week we begin a new theme, and we offer both a partial week ($75) or a full week ($125) option. You can book a week or the whole summer! Ms. April is our Camp Director and Ms. Amy has taken such care to develop summer themes that spark imagination and engage kids of all ages.
Whatever you do, know that we continue to work all summer towards our accreditation (our initial audit is this June), and on developing the life-skills component of the new high school. Above all, I wish you family a restful and safe summer!