Here are a number of Frequently Asked Questions and answers from TGS:
Why did you choose the name, Temple Grandin School? View answer »
We understand that some may have a limited association with the name Temple Grandin; some may only think of her as autistic. We see her as transcending that label. She is a unique individual that breaks the mold. Her autism does not define or limit her potential. Mainstream American press includes her in its list of heroes. Time magazine chose her as one (#31) of its 100 Most Influential People for 2010. Her example reminds us that each person is unique, with talents waiting to be nurtured. She is iconic, colorful, fascinating…and someone the world is interested in. Her gracious agreement to let us name a school after her has opened doors we never expected.
How is Temple Grandin involved with your school? View answer »
Dr. Grandin’s educational experiences are a primary source of guidance for our educational model. We have met with her on several occasions, and aspire to accurately represent her in the program we are developing. While not currently directly involved in program development, she is following our progress with interest as her very busy schedule allows. We are proud of our association with Temple Grandin, and hope that it will inspire many families to explore what we have to offer these unique students!
Will my student be labeled as autistic if he or she attends Temple Grandin School? View answer »
As teachers and parents of these wonderful students, we understand how labels can be both hurtful and helpful, depending on how they are used. Not all TGS students have a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum. Some have related diagnoses, or no diagnosis at all. Our programs address the common challenges many experience in the areas of social interaction, organization, and self-advocacy. Although we cannot control “labels” applied to our students by the outside world, at Temple Grandin School we guarantee:
- We will always see students as individuals who richly deserve our best daily.
- We will teach students to be proud of their strengths and gifts, and give them the ability to maximize those strengths.
- We will help students find the courage to address their challenges by providing a supportive academic and social environment for learning.
- We will help students understand and accept themselves and each other as they are.
Why do you have behavioral criteria for admission to Temple Grandin School? Don’t all students with ASD have behavior challenges? Would Temple Grandin even be able to be accepted to your school? View answer »
Many students with ASD do exhibit challenging behaviors in the school setting. However, we believe many of these behaviors have their basis in maladaptive responses to poorly designed educational environments. At TGS, we provide an ASD-friendly environment designed to minimize behavior problems and maximize learning. In addition to our small class sizes and understanding teachers, we offer truly engaging academic work, organizational support, direct teaching in social skills and coping strategies, and sensory-sensitive classrooms and work spaces.
Because we desire to serve all of our students well, we are currently unable to accept students with significant, recurring behavior concerns or co-occurring mental health diagnoses not actively managed by medication and/or therapy. If you have a question about how TGS’ behavioral criteria might apply to your student, please ask us. And yes, we do think Temple Grandin would have made the cut at TGS!
My student can get upset and be unable to work for periods of time until he’s calmed down. He does better if he can get away from other students for a while and have an understanding adult to help him understand what happened so he can calm down. Can you provide for this need at Temple Grandin School? View answer »
Yes. In the event that a student becomes upset and needs to leave the classroom, he or she would be encouraged to go to an agreed-upon place to calm down. A TGS support staff person will be available to support the student to engage in self-selected calming strategies and help diffuse and debrief the situation as needed so the student can reengage with his or her learning.
My student has been enrolled in a large public school. He is very stressed at school and frequently argues or refuses to do work. I do not know how well he would do in a smaller program. How might we determine if TGS is a good match for him?
Many students come to TGS after negative experiences in large public schools, or less-flexible private settings. The best way to experience the difference TGS makes is to come and see for yourself. We invite potential students to shadow at TGS for a day…or a week. During the shadow period, the potential student is paired with one or more current TGS students to participate in the classes and activities they are most interested in. TGS teachers observe their interactions in and out of the classroom. Most students who visit find it a refreshing change, and a place where they can be accepted and feel comfortable, not stressed.
My student is extremely disorganized. What are your expectations for organizational skills and how do you help students with this challenge? View answer »
We provide a very clear and specific structure for supporting organizational skills. Teachers maintain consistent school-wide classroom routines, and support staff work with students individually to develop organizational strategies that work for them.
Does Temple Grandin School accept part-time students? View answer »
We will consider part-time students on a case-by-case basis. We understand that for some students, attending full-time classes is too stressful. For others, a part-time schedule at Temple Grandin may be needed in order to accommodate advanced classes taken at the college level. We believe it is important for students to feel a sense of belonging in our school community, so it is our goal to have students enrolled as close to full-time as is manageable for them.
Does Temple Grandin School accept students who are not on the autism spectrum? View answer »
Absolutely! We believe our small classes, nurturing mentor-teachers, organizational and social skills support, individualized strength-based learning and opportunities for community involvement are beneficial educational components for many students. Our program is especially well suited for students with Asperger’s Syndrome, but this kind of learning environment works exceptionally well (often better than even “high performing” traditional schools) for most students.
How much help or guidance will the students get for their PLUS ONE day? View answer »
TGS will work with each student and family to ensure appropriate Plus One activity choices and on-site supervision as needed. TGS can work with your student’s existing provider, or provide suggestions for individuals and organizations that have demonstrated successful interactions with our population of students. The level of Plus One program planning responsibility expected will increase as students advance in age and demonstrate growth in their organizational development.
Will specialists be brought in to teach for the PLUS ONE Friday activities, or will the school be closed on those days? View answer »
TGS will provide three on-site activities each Friday for younger students, or families needing a five-day-a-week school day schedule. Students will choose from two or more morning and afternoon activities. All students in attendance at TGS on Fridays participate in physical education activities provided in collaboration with Boulder Parks and Recreation’s EXPAND therapeutic recreation program. TGS will provide transportation to local rec centers and other community-based sites for school-based Friday activities.
How will the students at TGS fulfill foreign language requirements for University entrance? View answer »
TGS will work with families individually to identify foreign language opportunities appropriate to their student’s post-high school goals. Depending on student interest and ability, options may include online instruction, individual or group tutoring, or enrolling in a community-based language course. If there is sufficient student interest in a single language, TGS may offer an on-site course.
How will the students at TGS get Physical Education? View answer »
Physical Education is provided to students primarily through TGS’ Plus One program. Students attending TGS on Plus One Fridays participate in the EXPAND program (see above). Students not attending on Fridays are required to document weekly participation in one or more physical activities outside of school. In addition, supervised active outdoor games are incorporated during lunch and breaks daily.