Monday, September 20, 2010

School Uses Unique Method to Teach Children on the Spectrum

HIGH SPRINGS, Fla. -- Blue's Clues is one of Jacob's favorite shows even though it's for "little kids." The 10-year-old shows a visitor his coloring that looks like the familiar notebook used on the Nickelodeon children's program.
Then he shows another coloring. And then another, all of them on the same theme.
Jacob has a mild version of autism, which makes him focus on certain subjects and exclude others.
He is one of two children at Autism Oasis for Kids who communicates verbally. The other five children attending this new private school are non-verbal, even at 7 and 8 years old.
Marie Trempe and her husband, Rob Cecil, founded the school. The couple's inspiration: their 10-year-old son, Narottam, who has autism.
Trempe said most schools in Florida use a kind of behavior improvement plan when dealing with children with autism. But she and her husband didn't like that it was based on rewards.
"We're different," said Trempe. "We use relationship therapy to figure out why they do the behavior.

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