There is 'Catholic option' for special education in St. Louis Archdiocese
The Department of Special Education of the Archdiocese of St. Louis has been serving children with special needs since 1950, the first such diocesan program in the country.
Despite that, too many Catholic parents are unaware of the department's existence, according to Karen Tichy, archdiocesan associate superintendent for instruction and special education.
"Our goal is to make sure the entire Catholic community knows that when children need special education, there is a Catholic option," Tichy said.
Students served have disabilities ranging from learning disabilities, attentional and cognitive processing disorders, autism spectrum disorders including Asperger's Syndrome and autism, speech-language disorders and social skills deficits, Tichy said.
Special Education Department programs include:
•Two early childhood centers for children 6 weeks to 6 years old with developmental disabilities or delays.
• A center for autism and developmental disabilities for children ages 5-16.
• Two full-time special education elementary schools.
• Two part-time special education learning centers.
• Services at two archdiocesan high schools.
"Students who attend these programs typically attend and succeed at general-education Catholic high schools because they received the individualized instruction they needed," Tichy said.
For information about locations and needs served, go online to stlouisreview.com/r33. For admissions information, call (314) 792-7320.
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