Charter school aiming to meet needs of students with autism nearing completion

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jul 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-09 20:28:24-04

PLEASANT GROVE -- One in 54 Utah children has some form of autism, making it the second highest rate in the nation, and many parents feel traditional public schools can't meet their needs.

A new school in Utah County wants to change that by creating a tuition free school for children with high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

“Our goal is to help these students learn, in order to do that we need to provide them with the accommodations that they need with the particular type of environment and removing environmental triggers that will allow them to then focus on their education,” said Jamie Christensen, who is the Director of Schools.

Spectrum Academy is one of only three schools in the nation that use the charter school system to offer publicly funded education specializing in meeting the needs of children with autism.

There are 650 families are on the waiting list, and with those kinds of numbers the school administration felt the need to expand from its North Salt Lake campus to Utah County.

The new school in Pleasant Grove is expected to be completed before the school year begins this fall.