The idea behind this school is the synthesis of two united aspirations: the culmination of a lifelong professional career working to unlock the potential of neurodiverse children, and a mother determined to create the educational experience she feels her child and others like her deserve.
The beginning of our story is likely a familiar one for fellow families of neurodiverse children. I was blindsided with my child’s autism diagnosis and unclear on what this meant for her future. She was just four years old at this point and we found ourselves fumbling to understand her needs and needing to explore her education options. She began with an amazing preschool but as her behaviors became more apparent and disruptive we had to transfer to the public school system for better “support.” The IEP process felt arcane and confused and we were underwhelmed with the plan developed for her. My daughter can read novels in less than an hour, but because of her diagnosis the district had wanted to place her in a segregated classroom half an hour away from our homeschool.
We heard about a program near our home where another mom described a great experience for her child. I naively shared details about my daughter’s diagnosis during our interview process. Despite all the supports we had in place and how bright my child was, they denied her a placement specifically because of her diagnosis. Our contact with several other private schools led to similar results: either unsettled merely at the mention of ASD, or admittedly ill-equipped to teach our child.
Our children deserve more and better options for their education. Homeschooling may or may not be an option depending on logistics, but the model works: customized education that meets our children where they are and challenges them appropriately.
Enter our daughter’s autism coach, Dr. Angela Calhoun. Dr. Calhoun has been working with autistic children her entire career. Her perspective is a bit different than others in her field: she has always focused on embracing and respecting neurodiverse children exactly as they are. She addresses their challenges but also highlights their gifts and empowers their strengths. From the very beginning of her career Dr. Calhoun had envisioned developing a comprehensive educational model to holistically address our children’s educational, behavioral and neurological needs.
We are ecstatic to share with you an option that accomplishes just that.
Welcome to Lumen Academy.