Tuesday, December 13, 2011

School-choice program helping autistic boy

"When Kelly McLemore’s son Aaron was diagnosed with autism at age 3, she immediately enrolled him in the public preschool," writes the American Federation for Children.
In a self-contained classroom, Aaron struggled every day.

He didn't socialize well with the other students or his teacher. He often had outbursts of anger and was aggressive towards others. Kelly would keep Aaron home several days each week to give the teacher a break.

"My concern," Kelly said, "was that not all kids learn the same. Not all disabilities are the same."

When she heard on the news about a new school choice program that utilized education savings accounts, Kelly immediately applied. As the first family in the state to submit an application for the program, the McLemores were soon approved to participate.

Now in first grade at Chrysalis Academy, Aaron has made significant improvements.

"He is more calm and relaxed," Kelly said. "Aaron is interactive now with adults and other kids. He does tasks that are requested of him and is paying attention."

Aaron is able to watch television with his family, play with his three brothers and the dog, and has shown an interest in computers.

"This is what I’ve been praying for for three years," said Kelly. "My son can be active and productive in society now."

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