Strength-based learning for K-12 children with special needs
I have a 9 year old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder. My son attended Skylar Hadden for four years and had a wonderful experience. Skylar Hadden has a truly individualized, whole-child approach to education. This is done by keeping the student population small and providing a positive, structured learning environment which emphasizes personal responsibility, strong study skills, and a sense of community. My son looked forward to going to school each day. His self esteem returned and his anxiety decreased. The increase in his self-confidence made a huge impact in his progress. He was eventually able to move to a more mainstream environment, which would not have been possible without his experience at Skylar Hadden . We absolutely love this school!
My son joined Skylar Hadden when he was 7. When he began at Skylar Hadden, he didn’t have the ability to sit in a circle or for any long period of time to complete any task. Kathy and her staff worked with him tirelessly to overcome this huge challenge. He also had limited pragmatic language and did not have the ability to carry a conversation beyond a 1- to 2-part exchange. After attending Skylar Hadden for 5 years, my son was ready to transition to a middle school in Santa Clara and was fully mainstreamed. Kathy was instrumental in his transformation at Skylar Hadden. Kathy is the gem of Skylar Hadden. She can read the kids like a book — it is almost as if she can see through them. She is supportive, patient and relentless when it comes to the kids. My son would not be where he is today if it weren’t for the intervention he received during his years at Skylar Hadden. It was a safe haven where he could be himself, but he also grew developmentally and was ready to go on about his day as a typical school boy. His development at Skylar Hadden, augmented with support services he got outside school, helped shape the young man he is today. For that I am very thankful to Skylar Hadden.
We enrolled our son, who has Asperger’s and a visual impairment, at Skylar Hadden in 4th grade after four years of battling the IEP process with our local public school. His self-esteem and self-confidence were at an all-time low, and he was losing his resilience to keep trying in an environment that just too under-supported. With the expertise of the Skylar Hadden staff and low student-teacher ratio, he was able to get the consistency and immediate intervention he needed to learn, to regulate himself, and improve his social interactions. When he finished his first year, he finally felt like he belonged. His end of year State of the Student presentation finished with this statement: “In conclusion, I would like to say that SHS has helped me a lot with problems I was having at my old school, such as being angry and attacking my friends or other people. Now I am calmer and I look forward to returning to Skyler Hadden next year.”When my 13 year old daughter was complaining about kids getting bullied at her middle school, he confided in her, “If you ever get bullied, you could come to Skylar Hadden. Nobody gets bullied at Skylar Hadden.”Not all of the students are on the spectrum, nor are they at the same developmental milestones. The multi-age, multi-ability environment gave him positive peer models and is enabling his growing academic and social cognitive successes.
This school has saved our family! Our son has learning disabilities (ADHD & bipolar) and was failing badly in the public school system. Skylar Hadden’s nurturing and supportive environment has restored his self-esteem and love of learning, allowing him to thrive intellectually and socially. The school has an extremely small student teacher ratio, which places as much emphasis on the child’s social and emotional growth as they do their academic skills. Children are grouped according to their abilities as opposed to specific grade levels, and teaching plans are customized for each individual. The dedication of the staff to the well-being of the entire child far exceeds what we’ve seen in any other school.
SKYLAR HADDEN SCHOOL 2720 S. BASCOM AVENUE, SAN JOSE, CA 95124PHONE: 408-559-7500 SKYLAR HADDEN FOUNDATION501(c)(3) Tax ID: 27-0470563
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