Images Courtesy of © The Atlas Foundation for Autism
Autism is a spectrum disorder where each person has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. While some people with ASD may need significant support daily, others may need less or even none. Each person has their own unique needs and thus requires a unique set of methods to support their lifestyle.
At the Atlas School, class culture meets academic, behavioral, and sensory needs in an emotionally supportive environment, where a truly individualized full-day educational program is developed for each student.
The Atlas School is a non-profit, non-public New York City (NYC) school serving children and young adults aged seven to 21 years diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental differences.
Their mission is to honor and embrace students’ unique minds, spirits, and voices. Empowered communication and respect for students’ passions and abilities ease them into rich social and emotional relationships and experiences. Self-identity, growth, and joyful engagement join with academic learning and choice-driven community integration to aid students in pursuing their own life goals and happiness.
Atlas programs adhere to social and educational standards to build positive relationships and gain the ultimate learning experiences while schools are not in session. When schools are closed, Atlas camps and community classes are open.
Creative community classes focus on confidence, self-determination, and team development through movement, sports, art, and recreation. Like every Atlas program, the activities change based on every child’s interests and goals.
Community Classes supported by OPWDD are available both at the city location and the Hudson valley sister program. Atlas aims to create the Atlas College Experience offering life-long educational, recreational, employment, and living communities.
Students of all ages can attend Atlas’ community classes on weekends, after school, and during holiday breaks—and soon, Atlas will be expanding their services to meet the custom needs of the 21+ neurodiverse community! Social connectivity and community integration are critical pieces of this program, and new programs will include art and music, health and fitness, sensory exploration, technology, and vocational experiences.
Atlas has also started immersive experiences in the Hudson Valley, offering respite for families and further educational and social opportunities in more nature-based settings.
As families build rapport with Atlas’ team members, they also become eligible for the overnight program regularly offered in Manhattan and the Hudson Valley Immersive Experiences. These experiences include field trips, life skills, and support for greater independence in areas such as health and hygiene, participation in family-style meals, food prep, and home routines.
The school and adult programs customize goals and activities around all aspects of students’ lives and interests as they fold into academics, life skills, and social connections. With Atlas, students and families can take advantage of services that help them navigate both current challenges and future visions.
Embark On The Journey: atlastforautism.org
MORE POSITIVE STORIES:
The Atlas Foundation honors the voice of those who experience challenges in relating and communicating with others. AFA sounds the call to a community yearning for something more, something better in the currently offered educational programs, schools and modes of communication.