Angela Williams, the founder of the learning center, was met with a dilemma two years ago, when no schools accepted her daughter, Ashley, once they found out she had autism. She was told that accepting an autistic student would be unfair to the other children and teachers, as Ashley would require more attention in the classroom. The schools told Angela that the education department was unable to handle autistic students and she should apply to wealthy schools with more resources.
Williams, wanting to provide her daughter with a strong education, hired a special education teacher from the Philippines. When three other parents heard about this, they joined together to pay for the teacher and to outfit a classroom with the materials needed to accommodate their children.
ExtraOrdinary Minds – Ashley’s Learning Center is registered as a not for profit entity with the aim to educate children with disabilities - students from mild to severe, with single or multiple disabilities to diverse-leveled students. The income of the school goes entirely to the payment of the staff. Some of the children attend the center at no cost. Annual fundraisers are held to lower the cost of therapies necessary for the children.
The goal of the Angela Williams is to educate children with special needs regardless of their ability to pay.
Ashley’s Learning Center is a children-centered school with a self-contained classroom that has 3 desks for independent work. We have a library/playroom where students mostly learn social skills through interactions with their classmates, teacher aide, and teachers. They have a mess hall where they clean up their own messes and complete the chores that are assigned to them.
I am confident that our family will grow in the number of students over the next few months, as there are still interested parents inquiring about the school. In this institution, our main goal is to prepare the students for the future and to be included in the community and that is why we are training them to be independent and responsible.