by Anthony KaDarrell Thigpen
AUTISM EDUCATION – In 2013, the Autism Academy for Education and Development opened its doors as the first autism-only school in the state of Arizona.
As accredited trailblazers, their enrollment continues to increase annually, exceeding 400 students.
More than any other school, parents trust their caring approach, academic curriculum, sensory accommodations, 4-to-1 student-to-staff ratio and extra-curricular activities. The campuses have comfortable classes, spacious sensory rooms, gymnasiums and covered playgrounds.
They provide dog therapy, while staffing speech and occupational therapists and behavioral specialists. The school encourages positive behavior, allowing students to build friendships for the first time ever. Among other activities, they host exciting pool and pizza parties, matinee movies, and bowling outings.
AAED participates in events like Autism Awareness Night with the Phoenix Suns, Special Olympics, the Annual Zoo Walk. Each campus has a P3 organization support system, while offering their children a comprehensive academic program that includes art, music, physical education and work-based learning.
Students utilize a variety of technology tools during the learning process. The high school students engage in Explorer Fridays gaining weekly exposure to career paths like robotics, dance, crafting, cooking, childcare and so much more.
AAED hires caring, professional staff who understand that their school is a home-away-from-home.
AAED is a pathfinder in the autism community.
In addition to the honor of serving as the first statewide autism-only school, their most important philosophy is centered on 4 building blocks that inspires their mission to keep kid’s first.