News & Events
Biondi School Now Supports Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
For years, Rising Ground has successfully supported children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in our preschool special education programs at Ames Early Childhood Learning Center, Brownell School, and Children’s Learning Center. But when it became time for the little ones to start kindergarten, they could not continue their special education at Rising Ground.
The good news is that this summer, the Biondi Education Center was approved to accept students with an autism educational classification. The timing couldn’t be better. The number of children diagnosed with ASD is growing rapidly, according to the latest data that show an alarming increase. In 2016, about 1 out of 54 children lived with ASD. That compares to 1 out of 110 children in 2006.
“We are so gratified to be able to welcome students with ASD to Biondi, where they can thrive with the academic and therapeutic support our teachers, teaching assistants, therapists, counselors, and others provide,” says Dr. Angela White, Superintendent of Schools. “In the past, we had to turn away many students with an ASD classification, including the students at our preschools.”
Right now, Biondi is preparing to staff two kindergarten/first grade classrooms with teachers specifically trained to educate students with ASD. As the program grows, more teachers will be hired to teach other grades.
“At Biondi, students with ASD will gain a solid academic foundation and receive the strong emotional support that allows children to really learn,” Dr. White says. “Both students and their parents will be pleased with the academic and emotional progress they make.”