Wiley Academy Opens Preschool for Kids on the Spectrum

By Carolyn Richardson

special needs

PHOTO COURTESY WILEY ACADEMY FOR SPECIALIZED LEARNING

L.A. Speech and Language Therapy Center has expanded. In September, the Wiley Academy for Specialized Learning opened with a learning environment tailored to children with autism spectrum disorders. The preschool program is for ages 3 to 5 and follows a language-based multidisciplinary curriculum. The emphasis is on whole-child development with daily exposure to activities that promote speech, fine motor, sensory and cognitive development.

Alyssa Porter’s son, Jagger, 3, attends the preschool. “I toured other programs and was instantly taken with the Wiley’s program because of the true sincerity of the program,” says Porter. Led by speech-language pathologists working in a collaborative team, Wiley Academy has a 1:3 teacher-student ratio. “You can tell it’s way more than a job to the staff. The love, kindness and patience that they show to my son are so important to me because kids with ASD respond to the vibes of people,“ Porter says.

Dr. Pamela Wiley, who has treated kids with ASD at L.A. Speech and Language Therapy Center for 35 years, says the new program opened in response to the continuous needs of young children under her care. “We have several early intervention programs for children 18 months to 3 years of age and make significant gains with them. Many continue to need specialized services after 3 years of age,” says Wiley. As research has proved that early childhood care and education programs can enhance children’s prospects for future academic success, Wiley set out to expand her services. “Our belief is that if we continue to provide quality services in a language-rich environment through 5 years of age, we will be able to provide them with a solid foundation that should prepare them to successfully access the curriculum consistent with the California Common Core State Standards in any school setting and regardless of ZIP code,” Wiley says.

The focus on individualized attention has been a game changer according to Porter. “My child feels like a rock star when he enters the campus,” she says. “Everyone knows his name! His development has been remarkable since participating in their programs and the preschool.”

The L.A. Speech and Language Therapy Center and Wiley Acadmey for Specialized Learning are located at 5761 Buckingham Parkway in Culver City. Visit www.speakla.com for more information or contact them at info@thewileycenter.org or 310-649-6199.

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