Our schools and classrooms across the country will be celebrating Autism Awareness Month throughout April. We will be sharing stories, videos, photos, and events highlighting what autism means to our staff and students.


When Walter, a teenager with autism, started at our school he was struggling with his communication skills and managing his behaviors. According to his father, Scott, “his vocabulary was just a few words – basically yes or no – there was no real communication. He was not able to deal with people socially.” We invite you to watch our video and hear from Scott and Walter himself to learn more about the individualized approach we take for each of our students and the impact it can have on them and their families.

Thought Leadership

The Importance of Empathy

For those who work with students with autism on a daily basis, we found that one trait makes them successful above all else: empathy. Read why our staff finds this quality so important.


Before coming to one of our schools, Angel’s behavior was erratic, destructive and oftentimes violent, putting himself and those around him at risk. After being removed from nearly 10 programs, no one would accept Angel. Watch the video to see Angel’s story, hear from his teacher, and see why his mother Celia says, “He’s just a different person now. He loves to go to school. They changed his life. They gave him a chance.”

Thought Leadership

It’s Time To Reflect On Inclusion

During the month of April, it’s important to take time to pause and learn more about this integral part of our population. Inclusion is important for everyone, and individuals with autism should not be left out.

The Impact Our Students Have On Us

Melissa Dirzius is a Special Education Teacher at B.E.S.T. Academy, which serves students with significant autism and developmental delays. Hear what Melissa says it means to see the impact she has on her students and also what she loves about working at B.E.S.T. Academy.