RALEIGH – A Raleigh program that helps kids with autism reach their maximum potential is now accepting new students.
The Meredith Autism Program is helping young kids fine tune the skills they need to transition into a typical classroom setting.
Jade Wu remembers when her son was diagnosed with autism. At just 18 months old they were told he's never speak, but since enrolling with the Meredith Program, things have turned around.
“As soon as I came in I said this is the right place for my son,” said Jade Wu. “He's riding a bike. He's saying 'Hi Mommy' and 'I love you'. We never imagined this happening.”
One out of 110 children is diagnosed with autism, according to the Autism Society of North Carolina. Programs like this give kids one-on-one training and help parents learn the skills they need to help their kids grow.
One focus is to work with parents as much as the child to teach them how to build on school work.
“There's nothing that can compare that. There's not job with perks that can compare to the reward of teaching a parent how to teach their child how to speak,” said director Kathryn Miller Dove.
Those rewarding moments that strengthen the language, motor, and social skills. Those skills ultimately last a lifetime.
“Our goal is to work on every area of possible deficit which varies a lot per child and crosses all areas of development for children and to work with the family so its complimented at home and perpetuated once they leave our service,” said Dove.
Administrators said at least half of the children in this program are able to move on to regular kindergarten classes. They said the kids have the tools needed to excel both in and outside the classroom, eventually leading a life of independence.
“This is a person who's going to be able to take care of themselves for the rest of their lives. They're not going to have to depend on anyone else,” Dove said.
Students at Meredith College are also instructors for the program. Administrators said that cuts pricey tuition costs down by close to 40 percent of what an average institution would cost.
For more information about the program visit the website.