I'm a small town girl, but the big windy city called Chicago is starting to look pretty good right now. Why?
The Chicago Tribune recently ran a story appearing online about a new school (that also doubles as a research facility for autism) that opened last month. The school, housed in a new 32 million dollar facility, is called the Easter Seals Therapeutic School and Center for Research.
The school can accomodate 150 students. It will combine education with independent living skills. Although it is possible that some people in the autism community may object to the school for one reason or another, I can imagine that a long waiting list of prospective students will be in the school's future if it doesn't exist already.
Features the school building has:
- walls and hallways designed to dampen sounds
- high windows so that students do not get distracted by looking through lower set windows
- schools alarms that do screech, but instead play Stars and Stripes Forever
- air vents that do not buzz or hum
- walls with non-glare paint (light colors)
My thoughts: This article did not include many details about the school's curriculum or much about how the school is staffed. For example, I wonder what the student to teacher ratio is and how many aides are assigned to each room.
Still though, it was interesting to read about the features of the school building. Not too many schools are built or adapted to fit the sensory issues of students who are on the spectrum. Alarms, in particular, are problematic for my child at school. He would much prefer a song to the screeching sound those darn alarms make.
If you lived in Chicago and your child had the opportunity to attend this school, would you send him or her? Please let me know via comment.