Home / Education / Reno Mom with Son on the Autism Spectrum Finds Caring, Supportive Teachers

Reno Mom with Son on the Autism Spectrum Finds Caring, Supportive Teachers

Teachers who care and know how to help; these two factors are the takeaway messages I want other parents to know when considering enrolling their child in the Newton Learning Center of Northern Nevada.

Newton is a private school catering to high-functioning children on the autism spectrum. It is successful in providing students what they need to succeed outside of the Newton learning environment. I know this from my own experience in enrolling my son Liam at Newton for his middle school years. The school was so successful in helping him that Liam transferred to a charter high school after just three years on campus.Liam Kay, Newton Learning Center

Let me back up a little. My son’s journey evolved as he progressed through grade school. We didn’t notice anything at home, but his second grade teacher suggested we take him to the school district for evaluation. They came back with a diagnosis of being on the Autism Spectrum and ADHD. At the end of second grade, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

I met with public school officials seeking a recommendation for my son, but I discovered they couldn’t put a finger on his needs. Even still, I kept in touch with his teachers for the rest of elementary school, hoping for the best.

With the transition to middle school, Liam really began to struggle. I again met with teachers and found their level of interest varied from wanting to help, to admitting they were unprepared to help, to downright indifference and apathy.

I also learned later that my son was being bullied and excluded from events by other children, even to the point of being called sub-human.

I knew I had to make a change, so I did some research. I talked to other parents about their experiences at the public middle school and learned that it took almost daily visits by some parents to ensure the school was following their child’s IEP and that teachers were engaged in teaching.

I knew there had to be something else for my son, and while searching online, I came across Newton Learning Center.

We made an appointment to stop by Newton during their summer camp. Liam was immediately welcomed and invited to play with the other children. It was a huge benefit in being welcomed by his peers who understood where he was coming from. And I could see that the staff there knew what was going on with Liam and knew how to deal with it. They’d seen it before.

The decision was made, and with some financial help from my parents, we enrolled Liam at Newton.

In the three years he attended Newton, he learned how to advocate for himself and made good friends he still sees. They really opened up possibilities for him.

His experience at Newton was so positive that Liam was able to transition to a charter high school in Sparks and is currently successfully handling that environment with the help of the school’s resource teachers. He is currently on track to graduate in June 2019.

About Our Sponsored Post Author

Amanda Kay is a married mother of three teenagers, all with their own challenges, and so by definition is a seasoned crisis manager. She is devoted to securing the best available resources to help them achieve the bright futures she knows they have. In her spare time, she rides herd on a wiener dog and a westie and works for a nonprofit improving how courts serve victims of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect.


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