two adolescent students doing classwork on a shared Ipad screen depicting rows of selectable numbers and letters.

Julie Billiart Schools Understands the Needs of Students with Autism

Autism, while not defined as a learning disability, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how kids process information and ultimately affects how they learn. School activities that involve social interaction, noisy/unorganized environments, or intense sensory stimulation can be particularly challenging for children diagnosed with autism. Lunchtime, recess, or unexpected schedule changes can cause fear, confusion, and even lead to emotional meltdowns.

To helps students with high functioning autism be most successful in the classroom, experts recommend that educators:

  • clearly establish structured routines

  • properly prepare and help students anticipate change

  • plan and practice communication strategies and social routines

  • provide earplugs or noise-canceling headsets in hallways or lunchroom

  • offer a quiet area for “breaks” if necessary

  • develop visual schedules and graphic organizers

  • provide visual or written, rather than auditory, instructions

  • encourage computer use, especially word processing for writing

These are just a few of the many supports that, while not impossible to offer, can be difficult to provide in a typical classroom where many students with a wide range of abilities all require varied levels of attention and accomodations.

Julie Billiart Schools, with campuses in Akron in Lyndhurst, offer students with high functioning autism (once referred to as Asperger Syndrome) the flexible environment and individualized approach to learning they need to be academically and socially successful. Our 1:6 teacher-to-student ratios, small classroom sizes, and customized therapies and teaching methods have helped position us as leaders in special education throughout Northeast Ohio.

With a combined history of more than 60 years, our team of licensed intervention specialists and accredited occupational, speech, music, art, and speech therapists, has been taking students grades in K-8 BEYOND EDUCATION. BEYOND EXPECTATIONS.

Teaching Students with HFA

High-functioning autism often co-exists with ADHD, anxiety, and other specific learning disabilities that also impact a child’s ability to succeed in the classroom. Julie Billiart Schools has strategically created learning environments that ease anxiety, reduce distractions, and provide opportunities for collaboration and movement.

Unlike a traditional schools, we offer students flexible seating options and sensory toys to expend extra energy, increase focus, and encourage movement, creativity, play and effective learning. Carpeting in the classrooms and hallways reduces loud noises while soothing paint colors and decor creates a calming learning environment for students that are easily distracted.

The Julie Billiart Schools Approach to Learning

Julie Billiart Schools adhere to the conventional curriculum mandated by the Ohio’s Department of Education and recognized by the Ohio Catholic Schools Accrediting Association  however, the way we teach is anything but conventional. Because every student learns differently, we teach each student differently, meeting their individual needs and learning style. Intervention specialist use prompting, visual reminders and frequent learning breaks to increase each student’s self confidence, self esteem and willingness to work outside their comfort zones.

A Team of Supporters

Our whole child approach to education addresses each student’s academic, social, and  emotional needs. Since consistency and continuity both at school and at home are critical to a child’s success, we work closely with families to ensure proper guidance at school and at home helps our students succeed, and having an open line of communication with families helps ensure they are getting the most out of their education.

Students Grow and Gain Skills

Students at Julie Billiart Schools gain confidence and self-advocate while they learn and play – growing skills that help them in school, as well as socially and emotionally. Our licensed intervention specialists and therapists help students set goals and reach them, in an environment where they feel comfortable and can thrive.


Julie Billiart Schools work with families and students to form a team that helps children who learn differently find successful methods of learning that help them excel. Discover more about Juile Billiart Schools by attending our next open house in Akron or Lyndhurst!

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