Loud lunchrooms. Busy hallways. Baffling social situations. Competing classroom expectations.
High school can be hard for any adolescent. But for ASD students with added social, communication, and sensory challenges, high school can sometimes be overwhelming.
In their home school districts, ASD students are often placed in a multi-handicap classroom where teachers must address a wide range of physical and mental challenges. Sometimes these classrooms meet the specific needs of ASD students. All too often, they do not.
To meet the needs of ASD students, the Hench Autism Program classroom on the Defiance College campus was designed with ASD students from Defiance City Schools and schools in the four county area in mind. Sensory sensitive accommodations include indirect lighting and a special heating and cooling system that disperses air gently. Furnished as a comfortable living space, the on-campus classroom provides an ideal environment for the integrated learning of both academic and life skills.
Programming is specific to ASD students, including an emphasis on peer interaction, one of the greatest challenges in a typical high school. Defiance College students trained as peer mentors participate in shared activities from eating lunch in the cafeteria to knitting, book discussions, cooking, managing the Java Jacket coffee card, and growing herbs in a greenhouse.
As ASD students authentically socialize and work together, they learn academic skills. Math gets put to work in the kitchen. Science blossoms in the greenhouse. Languages and literature thrives in book discussions. Students are also encouraged to pursue special interests, including learning languages and developing artistic talents.
Real life. Real work. Real relationships.
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Defiance College | Defy the Ordinary
701 N. Clinton St.
Defiance, OH 43512
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