Autism Week and Bridgeway Academy

April is World Autism Month, and this week in particular fosters greater awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people with autism, because April 2 marks World Autism Day.

What do we know about autism spectrum disorder, according to Autism Speaks?

  • Approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder: 1 in 37 boys, 1 in 151 girls.
  • Most children are diagnosed after age four but can be diagnosed as early as age two.
  • Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
  • Over the next decade, an estimated 500,000 teens (50,000 each year) will enter adulthood and age out of school-based autism services.
  • Nearly half of 25-year-olds with autism have never held a paying job.

While those statistics are daunting, there is hope because of people like Abby David and Erin Nealy and places like Bridgeway Academy.

Bridgeway Academy began in 2005 with 12 students, two founders, and a singular vision for how children living with autism and other developmental disabilities could thrive. Abby and Erin believed that education and therapy services could be different — should be different — and hundreds of families believed, too.

In just 14 years, Bridgeway Academy has grown to 190 students. Next month, they will celebrate their first graduating class of three students.

Their mission? To inspire the potential and celebrate the ability of every child.

Their vision? A world of opportunity for every child and a community of support for every family.

The staff of nearly 180 certified teachers, therapists, psychologists, and board-certified behavior analysts provide comprehensive services tailored for each child’s unique needs. All classrooms employ evidence-based teaching and therapy methods, including the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) — proven to be the most effective treatment for autism.

While the expertise of their staff is a major element of their success, we would argue that it’s their signature culture of love, care, and respect that makes all the difference.

So, how can you help?

Wearing blue or a puzzle piece lapel pin is helpful, but so is raising a glass. Bridgeway Academy will host their annual gala “Raise Your Glass to Raise Awareness” on April 26, 2019. We hope to see you there.

Article by: Kerri Laubenthal Mollard, Founder & CEO

2019-04-05T16:11:44+00:00