Autism Outreach: Alabama High School Develops Unique Program For Students
An amazing high school in Alabama is paving the way for other schools to successfully integrate their autistic students into classroom activities -- and beyond. One of the school's former autistic students scored a touchdown during their football state-championship in 2010, and a current 17-year-old student, one of the teens profiled in AL.com's recent blog post on the school, apparently loves playing volleyball in P.E. class.
These "typical" high school experiences are made possible through Spanish Fort High School's unique program, "Project Outreach", which allows students at the school to join the club and participate in extra-curricular activities with their autistic peers. Project Outreach is currently the largest club at the school with 112 members.
According to AL.com, the daily classes for teens with autism (which the school calls "Project REACH") teach them practical job skills, such stocking grocery shelves and delivering mail, and students use iPads (and other technology) to communicate with their teachers, families, and other students in incredible ways.
And these Alabama teachers are not the only ones utilizing iPads as groundbreaking tools for autistic teens to express themselves: Earlier this week, Huffington Post Los Angeles published the story of Jacob Artson, a California autistic teen previously dismissed as nonverbal who has started communicating with his family -- and inspiring the country -- through learning to type.
A few other schools have made headlines recently for their strides in Autism awareness and developing educational centers for autistic young adults. An autism treatment center is opening in Portage, Michigan and will serve around 500 children in the city, and a club founded by a 15-year-old in Wilmington, Massachusetts is raising thousands of dollars for autistic teens and children in her community.