Woman Starts School For Kids With Autism - New York News

Mom Starts School For Kids With Autism

Posted: Updated:

Autism rates are on the rise in the US, with one in 88 children being diagnosed.

In New Jersey, one in every 29 boys has autism. When one mom with two boys couldn't find the right school that was fit for them, she took matters into her own hands.

Nathan and Alexander are sweet, loving boys who love to play and learn. However, as kindergarten approached, mom Karen Misher was having a hard time finding the right place for her six year old twins with autism.

"I started talking about a dream," she told FOX 29's Karen Hepp.

Her dream: a school with all the support her kids needed, plus the chance to make friends with other children in a way that wouldn't overwhelm them.

"I found myself balanced between two worlds of getting specialized education they needed but no interaction with children who had typical language or play skills, or public school that can offer inclusion but with 20 to 30 kids."

Therefore, Karen took the bold move of creating that place, a new school, where her kids could get a step up, a step up academy.

The academy features lots and lots of high fives, personalized one-on-one time, trampolines and hammocks, a whole room for occupational therapy, plus, partnerships with community groups to make friends. They've got all the best practices, the latest technology, the iPads, the smart boards, and the curriculum to get kids on academic level with their peers.

"We incorporate whatever works, and whatever motivates the student in order to teach them the skills to give them opportunity to apply it in larger settings and natural environment," said Misher.

And the natural environment is bucolic, a fieldstone meetinghouse, oak trees, science classes in the outdoors. Karen found the perfect spot for her school on the grounds of Abington Monthly Meeting, and just as importantly, she found a director who shares her vision, Kelley Donohue.

"I've personally worked with dozens of kids who've moved from a restrictive autism support system to full inclusion setting who are now going off to college," said Donohue.

Nathan, Alexander, along with all their new friends are working towards the same milestones as other kindergartners. They won't get there the same way, but they're striving for the same goals, one step up at a time,

"My hope's by the time in 4th grade they can enter into a regular educational setting, fully included," said

And the kids are well on their way. The school is just for kindergartners and first grades this year, but, they plan to expand to preschool next year and add grades as the children get older through 4th grade.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Contract talks in Met Opera labor dispute extended

    Contract talks in Met Opera labor dispute extended

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:55 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:55:06 GMT
    A federal mediator is on her way to New York to try to resolve a labor faceoff at New York's Metropolitan Opera.
    New York's Metropolitan Opera says labor talks with its unions have been extended for an additional 72 hours, averting a threatened midnight lockout.
  • New York's smallest piece of private land

    New York's smallest piece of private land

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:45 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:45:15 GMT
    The Hess triangle is a tiny piece of private property in Greenwich Village. Manhattan historian Joyce Gold explained the origins of the property: After World War I, New York City seized a beautiful residence and tore it down so it could extend Seventh Avenue and the west side subway below it. The city left the building's owner only a tiny scrap of property so small it requested he donate the triangle to make way for a sidewalk. The man refused, took the city to court and won.
    The Hess triangle is a tiny piece of private property in Greenwich Village. Manhattan historian Joyce Gold explained the origins of the property: After World War I, New York City seized a beautiful residence and tore it down so it could extend Seventh Avenue and the west side subway below it. The city left the building's owner only a tiny scrap of property so small it requested he donate the triangle to make way for a sidewalk. The man refused, took the city to court and won.
  • Runners of 3,100-mile race in Queens seek spiritual experience

    Runners of 3,100-mile race in Queens seek spiritual experience

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:26 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:26:44 GMT
    Since mid-June, 14 runners have been on a mission that is spiritual at its core. They are running the Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race in Jamaica, Queens. Spiritual leader and former Queens resident Sri Chimnoy, who died in 2007, created the race, which lasts 52 days.
    Since mid-June, 14 runners have been on a mission that is spiritual at its core. They are running the Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race in Jamaica, Queens. Spiritual leader and former Queens resident Sri Chimnoy, who died in 2007, created the race, which lasts 52 days.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices