WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — 5-year-old Eli runs and plays with friends but his parents say that was not always the case.
His mother, Jennifer, said, at 18-month-old, the family’s pediatrician told her Eli’s language was not developing as it should.
After years of monitoring, doctors diagnosed Eli with autism.
Eli’s father Isaiah said, “ I was in denial but you have to face the fact and deal with it.”
Jennifer told us, “It was like a big hit. I don’t think any parent is ready.”
Thanks to the Special Children’s School in Winston-Salem, the family found the resources they needed from therapeutic horse riding to speech therapy.
“Seeing him come to the school, he has his friends. He loves chasing them around,” Jennifer said,
The preschool program allows typically developing kids to learn next to differently-abled children like Eli. It’s what drew Angele Carlson to enroll her daughter Scarlett.
Carlson said, “She was in a classroom that had a variety of kids.”
Some children are in wheelchairs and some communicated in alternative ways.
Now Scarlett is enrolled in the typically developing Kindergarten class at the Special Children’s School. It’s part of the WSFCS regular curriculum but without the large class size.
There is no fee charged for residents of Winston-Salem Forsyth County for the kindergarten program.
For tuition and other information about the typical inclusion programs, visit the school's website or call the Special Children’s School at 336-703-4191