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Manchester, CT: Autism school has waiting list; "growing need" pushes explansion

Dec 14, 2019, Hartford (CT) Courant: Waiting list for Manchester school focused on kids with autism/behavioral challenges For most kids at this day school focused on autism and behavioral disabilities, the answer is “engine high.” The room holds a circular trampoline, a hopping ball and a climbing wall, activities designed to “regulate energy,” Director Cathy Danielczuk said during a tour of the Prospect Street school on Friday. A growing need for the specialized education offered at The Learning Center is pushing an expansion. School officials have applied to the planning and zoning commission to build a 42-space parking lot. An expansion of the 8,795-square-foot school is under consideration, officials said. The school for students ages 3-11 is part of Cromwell-based Ädelbrook Behavioral and Developmental Services. Founded as an orphanage in 1915, the organization serves about 300 children and young adults who are on the autism spectrum or have behavioral and health challenges. The Manchester school’s 30 students have been referred by school districts in the region. Sixty-two school systems and the state support the organization’s $40 million annual budget, Ädelbrook President and CEO Alyssa Goduti said. Enrollment at the Learning Center in Manchester soon will grow to 36 students, the maximum number that can be served in the current space, Danielczuk said. She and Goduti said there is a waiting list to get into the school. Nationwide, 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with autism and the rate has grown steadily for the past 20 years, according to the National Autism Association. …
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