Woman Starts School For Kids With Autism - Fox 2 News Headlines

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 NewsMore>>

  • Gaggle Of Geese Making A Mess Of Emmaus Park

    Gaggle Of Geese Making A Mess Of Emmaus Park

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:18 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:18:37 GMT
    They may be Canada's least popular export: geese, or more exactly, goose droppings.
    They may be Canada's least popular export: geese, or more exactly, goose droppings.
  • VIDEO: Children Wed Parents During Self-Uniting Ceremony

    VIDEO: Children Wed Parents During Self-Uniting Ceremony

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:42:16 GMT
    Paul Resnik and Anne Marie Coughlin were married by their children at their home.
    Paul Resnik and Anne Marie Coughlin were married by their children at their home.
  • Ya Gotta Try This Tasting

    Ya Gotta Try This Tasting

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:34 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:34:59 GMT
    Join FOX 29's Mike Jerrick and the Good Day Philadelphia team for a tasty night of yummy treats benefiting local youth.You've all seen Mike's weekly "Ya Gotta Try This" segments on Good Day Philadelphia, where he visits local restaurants and eating establishments to try their signature, and sometimes, unusual, dishes. Now you have the chance to do the same at the "Ya Gotta Try This" Tasting, Thursday, October 2nd, 6:30 to 9:30, at the Independence Visitor Center, One North Independence Mall W...
    Join FOX 29's Mike Jerrick and the Good Day Philadelphia team for a tasty night of yummy treats benefiting local youth.You've all seen Mike's weekly "Ya Gotta Try This" segments on Good Day Philadelphia, where he visits local restaurants and eating establishments to try their signature, and sometimes, unusual, dishes. Now you have the chance to do the same at the "Ya Gotta Try This" Tasting, Thursday, October 2nd, 6:30 to 9:30, at the Independence Visitor Center, One North Independence Mall W...
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

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