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Roanoke, VA: Autism school opens for kids with "lower functioning levels"

Aug 14, 2019, ABC13, Lynchburg, VA: School for children with disabilities and autism opening next week in Roanoke https://wset.com/news/back-to-school/school-for-children-with-disabilities-and-autism-opening-next-week-in-roanoke A new special education program opens in Roanoke next week. Centra's latest Rivermont School is geared towards teaching students with disabilities and autism on the lower functioning levels. "In addition to traditional classrooms, will have a sensory room, an independent living apartment, a Speech, Physical, and Occupational therapy room, activity room, and outdoor playground. Our team consists of Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Board Certified assistant Behavior Analysts, Special Education Teachers, and Mental Health Associates. These professionals ensure that ABA techniques and methodologies are incorporated throughout individualized programs with an emphasis on communication, academics, life skills, vocational skills, and social skills. We are so pleased to be able to expand these services in the Roanoke Valley," said Brian Summo, the school's principal. The sensory room is where teachers bring students when they need to calm down or refocus their attention…. Centra has 17 Rivermont Schools in the commonwealth to provide therapeutic educational programs for students with special needs -- like autism -- to learn. "It's important to have schools like this in the area because these children need individualized care and instruction," Ferrell said. The majority of the students work one-on-one with teachers. With our area's special education schools growing by five-10 students per year, Rivermont decided to open a second Roanoke location on Riverland Road to focus on students with lower functioning capabilities. 36 students will start on Monday, 25 of those transferred from the old school as their disabilities required a bit more attention. … But, the best thing this new facility offers is a solution to the need for special education schools throughout the Commonwealth. "We have lots of room to grow and I think it will be a while before we get to the point where we are full and have a waiting list so I think we are good for a long time," Summo added….