Educating children with Autism
One in 68 children in the United States has Autism, which is about 80 percent more kids than just a decade ago.
There aren't many places for these children to go where they can learn and grow at their own pace, but The Lionheart School is working to change that.
The Alpharetta campus is dedicated to educating children with Autism and the process begins with exploring what excites and motivates each child.
Tracey Burke's daughter Amelia came to Lionheart nonverbal and with the help of the school's service dog Langley, she's blossomed into a caring, communicative child.
At Lionheart, the proprieties are different.
"Just try to be yourself, don't act like someone else. You act like yourself," said student Vance Gansler.
The traditional academic curriculum is enhanced by activities that address other needs.
"She needed more social support, more peep support and time to play and be with kids socially," said Burke.
"Turning a corner" is how many Lionheart parents describe the transformation they've seen in their kids.
"For her to introduce herself and shake your hand is a huge step," said Burke.
Whether it's reusing household materials to create a birdhouse or stitching together home décor, with patience and determination these children are making their ideas take shape. It's a powerful message for children too often defined by their limitations.
"We don't know what she's going to be like as an adult, but we see some really great young adults here so we have so much hope," said Burke.