Produced by Will Crawford
Bluegrass Center for Autism in Louisville KY serves children ages 5-21 with developmental disabilities, primarily autism spectrum disorders. It is a focused response to epidemic-like increases in the numbers of children diagnosed on the autism spectrum and the lack of specialized educational options. Bluegrass Center for Autism opened in August of 2010 at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Woodbourne Avenue in the Highlands. Today the Woodbourne Campus is home to our younger students aged 5-11. In August of 2012, we opened our Upper School Campus located in 7000 sq. ft. of retail space in Mid City Mall where the mall becomes an extension of the classroom and provides real life experiences for our older students aged 12-21.
Bluegrass Center for Autism is a unique and necessary addition to the small arsenal of services that the autism community needs. While we are a school with an academic curriculum, we are so much more. Children on the autism spectrum often have severe communication deficits and for those we offer daily speech and language therapy. For children who have sensory issues, we offer a sensory-friendly learning environment. Because many of our children have social and behavioral problems, we offer the services of an Applied Behavior Therapist. It is said that when you meet one child with autism, you have met one child with autism. Indeed each has his/her own special issues and needs a customized learning plan and a heavy dose of one-on-one intervention and attention.
Presently Bluegrass Center for Autism has an enrollment of 34 students and a teaching staff of 22. The addition of masters level students in Applied Behavior Analysis, masters level Occupational Therapy students and masters level Speech Pathology students allow us to offer 1:1 student:teacher ratios in five of our seven classrooms. The Lead Teachers in each of our seven classrooms are from a variety of disciplines and include a Speech Pathologist , ABA therapists, and a Special Education Teacher. Our classrooms are divided into “families” at the Woodbourne Campus and “teams” at the Mid City Campus and the placements of the children depend upon their specific needs.
Each child’s curriculum varies but we offer the following services:
Speech and Language Therapy
Applied Behavior Analysis
Life Skills Training
Adaptive Physical Education
Bluegrass Center for Autism is a small school with a big-hearted staff and a dedicated board of directors determined to improve life outcomes for children challenged by autism.