Founders Message, Nancy J. Lavelle, Ph.D.
April is Autism Spectrum Disorders Acceptance Month. The Institute for the Redesign of Learning has been serving students on the Autism Spectrum since its founding in 1974. Although little was known about the causes of Autism years ago, we are now beginning to understand how broad and pervasive the sensory and language challenges children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum must face. While labeling ensures that children receive the educational, mental health, medical, and therapy services that support their learning and growth, we all know that labels can also limit these children’s full inclusion in our communities and their self-sufficiency as they grow older. Recently, the term “neurodiversity” has caught on among parents and professionals who recognize that all human beings have unique brain and behavioral traits, develop in their own way, and learn differently. That is, children and adults with neurological or cognitive differences are merely unique expressions of what it is to be a human and should not be diagnosed or treated differently. In all the Institute’s programs and at the Westmoreland Academy, the Institute’s specialty school for children on the Autism Spectrum, we share in that basic premise. We believe that we are all learners (i.e. students, teachers, parents, therapists, etc.), able and capable of reaching our full potential and taking personal responsibility for our own learning breakdowns and learning successes in life. We empower all learners to identify their concerns in life and take steps to develop competence to handle those concerns. Importantly, we hold that, as learners, we are all whole, able, and complete just as we are and just as we are not. Join us in celebrating all learners, during Autism Spectrum Disorders Acceptance Month!
The Institute for the Redesign of Learning established a unique non-public school (NPS), Westmoreland Academy, for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) next to the historic Gamble House in Pasadena. Westmoreland Academy was founded on the belief that extraordinary students deserve an extraordinary program. We offer specialized curriculum that meets the individual needs of students who learn in a multitude of ways and well-trained, empathetic, passionate staff who support our students in recognizing that they are “Whole, Able and Complete.” Our goal is to provide our students with an effective education that meets the referring school district and California State Board of Education Curriculum standards. Westmoreland Academy is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
PROGRAM OFFERINGS INCLUDE:
• Small class sizes with 1:12 teacher to student ratio
• State-of-the-art motor, movement and occupational therapy labs
• Assistive Technologies
• Language and Speech (LAS)
• Occupational Therapy (OT)
• Physical Therapy (PT)
• Specially Designed Physical Education Classes
• Adapted Physical Education (APE)
• Positive Behavioral Support
• Sensory Room (funded by Pasadena Community Foundation and Edison International)
• Student and parent resource libraries
• Life Skills Center
• Transition Planning Services
• College/Vocational Counseling and Guidance
• Computer labs in each classroom
• Multidisciplinary team design
• Enrichment activities including art, music, and gardening
• On-campus work readiness training
• Counseling and Educationally Related Intensive Counseling Services (ERICS)
Contact us for a tour or if you have any questions! 5 & 6 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, CA 91103 (626) 356-1500