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Sumner County, TN: New private school for autism/dyslexia to open; public schools overcrowded

Mar 3, 2020, Lebanon (TN) Democrat: Edison School targets fall opening in Wilson County https://www.lebanondemocrat.com/lebanon/news/edison-school-targets-fall-opening-in-wilson-county/article_640aef40-ebc9-5cf9-8c14-b57f0ea89e72.html
Parents struggling to find educational support for children with autism, ADHD and more may have a new option this fall in the Edison School. The private school already has a location in Sumner County, and its small class size means teachers have more time for one-on-one attention. Dozens of local parents have joined an effort to see the program offered in Wilson County as well. “We’ve been exploring the option to expand into Wilson County since summer of last year,” headmaster Jonathan Wilson said. “Parents had contacted me at our summer location, and we did a lot of research. We’re working with a church out there to get approval to lease space, although we can’t identify which one yet.” Wilson said community engagement at meetings about the school has been strong, and several families have already turned in enrollment forms. The program would initially serve students from pre-K to ninth grade, and expand through 12th grade by 2023…. “We feel like public schools are overcrowded for her,” she said. “She’s very smart and gifted in certain things, but in others she may need help. It’s great that they can meet the child right where they’re at and help with their sensory needs. My daughter is a sensory learner, so she likes pushing on a pillow, and a swing really calms her.” The Edison School has a sensory room to help students who are feeling overwhelmed, and the children can even sit on beanbag chairs and sensory balls in the classroom…. “We have a daughter and a son we were going to enroll in the Sumner County location last year, and now we’re looking to enroll in Wilson County,” Teresa Shipman said. “It’s great to see this moving forward, because there’s really nothing else out there at the moment that will give my children the kind of one-on-one attention they need besides homeschooling.” Shipman said her son’s ADHD and autism make it difficult to work in a regular classroom setting, and her daughter is on the lower-functioning end of the autism spectrum…. Although the Edison School is designed to help students with conditions like autism and dyslexia, enrolling does not require a diagnosis. “Some kids come to us because they’re bullied in school or have trouble dealing with large crowds,” Wilson said. “Personally, my wife and I have walked this path. We have a son about to turn 18 who’s deaf, blind and has autism, and although he’s too old to enroll with us I’m trying to create a school I know he would thrive in.”