Lakewood, CO – Special education teacher, Sheri Kline and School Psychologist Paul McConnell created a summer program in Jefferson County to help children on the autism spectrum transition into the new fall year.
While this might seem like too much school for some, for students on the spectrum, a class-free summer could wipe clean valuable social and academic progress they have made in the past year. As Kline told the 9NEWS:
“So, we started a program to maintain those social skills throughout the summer. You can work so hard throughout the year, but that two month break can be complete regression.”
One of the biggest characteristics of autism is a strong loyalty to routine. The smallest change in schedule could cause the biggest upset, and this program aims to change that.
The students will partake in both social and academic exercises which Kline stresses that the students work best when those skills are linked together,
McConnell thinks the program will pay off in the next school year adding :
“It’s to help the next step of transition go more smoothly, so when schools come back, hey, I’ve been in school. I’ve been doing school.”
Another benefit is that new special education teachers fresh from college will be given the chance to transition from ‘student behind the desk’ to ‘teacher in front’.
McConnell finally says:
“Frankly, this summer program since it’s all about social interaction, it’s fun with the kids,”
The original article by hereon the 9 News website can be read