RIVERHEAD, N.Y., June 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Acton Academy Eastern Long Island today announced the first phase of the Autism Studio launching July 6, 2021 in Riverhead, NY. It is a revolutionary new program that seeks to unlock this highly intelligent, grossly misunderstood population. By offering an educational environment that will tap into the deep and complex thoughts, ideas and inner lives of non-verbal autists, the trajectory of their lives (and ours) will be forever changed.
Utilizing an emerging, innovative communication modality called Spelling to Communicate (S2C), autistic students will learn to express their thoughts, ideas and feelings, thereby "tapping into" their inner world.
S2C is a program designed to support communication for nonspeaking, minimally-speaking, and unreliably-speaking individuals with sensory-motor differences. While the motor skill of speech may be a challenge for this population, we know that their language is intact.
Through S2C, we teach those with motor difficulties to coordinate their brain and body to communicate by spelling. This practice builds new neural pathways in order to create an alternative outlet for communication. As students practice these motor skills, they grow from pointing to letters on letterboards to typing on keyboards — many spellers have even gone on to write books and create blogs expressing a common thread in their experiences.
They are trapped inside a body that is disconnected from their brain. Their mind understands everything, but they cannot get their body to do what they want. They are locked in with no way for anyone to understand that their cognition/intelligence is completely intact.
"The unrealized potential in this population is enormous. The Autism Studio at Acton ELI is the first program of its kind to presume intelligence and offer curriculum that will enable autistic individuals to bring their gifts to the world," says Andrea Libutti, MD the founder and head of school. "My 17-year-old minimally-verbal autistic son has been doing 11th grade honors classes since implementing S2C last year. I have witnessed the profound abilities of non-verbal autists using S2C and it is incomprehensible how they know what they know. They have so much to offer and we will give them a place in society that will enable them to reach their full potential."
Andrea started Acton ELI for typical children in 2019 as an affiliate of the Acton brand, which has become a global alternative education movement. Acton is a learner-driven, experiential school, dedicated to helping each child find their calling. The Autism Studio, phase one, will begin this July, inviting non-speaking and minimally-speaking autistic individuals to learn S2C.
Andrea has published two books on autism, Autism A New Humanity (Hay House 2015) and Autism: A New Perspective (KDP 2019) which she co-authored with a non-verbal autist from Portugal. She is also a practicing part-time emergency physician employed at Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital and the mother of three boys. The oldest has autism.
Andrea Libutti, MD
Owner Acton Academy Eastern Long Island
SOURCE Acton Academy Eastern Long Island