New school for kids with autism opens in Orem

Posted at 10:45 PM, Aug 12, 2012

OREM, Utah - Clear Horizons Academy showed off their new, bigger building this week.

The specialty school for children with autism now provides more resources to give students a tailored education.

"This new facility is gonna really give them all the tools they need to really give these kids the best therapy they can have," said Sondra Hurst, acting director of the school and a mother of a child with autism. "We want to change their lives forever and the way that we do that is to give them the opportunity to learn life skills. So they can have an apartment, so they can do things for themselves, so they can be independent."

Autism is often characterized by repetitive or restrictive behavior and impaired social interactions. Children with autism also show sensory abnormalities.

"These sensor rooms are just amazing. All the rooms have these things so they can do these things," said Hurst.

In addition to therapy, academics and improving social skills, the school also works to instill self-esteem in each student.

"We've already seen progress in the kids we've already seen them calm down quite a bit, start to use their language more," said Hurst.

The building was funded by private donations.