The Children’s Home of Cincinnati’s High School for Students with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders
, now in its fourth year of operation, is open for registration.
The alternative education setting offered to students between the ages of 14 and 21 is unique, according to Principal Amanda Tipkemper, in that the placement is geared specifically toward the young adult population—a population, she says, that is not often the focus of autism-related programs.
“There are a lot of early intervention and school-age services, and not a lot of services out there for teens,” says Tipkemper, who came into her role as principal after having run some social groups and “teen night out” programs where individuals with Asperger’s would go on fun outings with one another.
“The people who were running the high school, when it first began, would call me, and we’d collaborate and talk about the population we were serving,” Tipkemper says. “So now, in this role, I’m focused on this specific population, and it’s nice because I get to focus my energy.”
In the mornings, students receive grade-level instruction, but in the afternoons, students are divided into upper- and lower-classmen and focus on foundational skills like advocacy, self-regulation and transitioning into adulthood.
“The goal of the program is to not only support the student, but to support the family in transitioning to adulthood and get them prepared and as independent as they can possibly be,” Tipkemper says.
“What I tell families is that the goal is for you not to be doing this for your kids. You shouldn’t have to advocate for them or regulate when they’re overwhelmed or under-stimulated. We need to teach them these tools so they can go into adulthood and start doing it for themselves, and that’s really empowering for the kids.”
about the high school, and consider enrollment.
The Children's Home of Cincinnati by donating.
Amanda Tipkemper if you'd like to get involved by volunteering. From pizza parties and community outings with the kids, to gardening clubs and engineering programs, there are various ways to help out, depending on your interests.