BY AMANDA STRAPP
Woodview isn’t just a stuffy doctor’s office where people pry into others’ lives: it’s an organization that works with everything in a person’s life when it comes to mental health issues or autism. School is no exemption to the rule: It runs the Woodview Learning Centre, a private school for autistic children.
Burlington’s Woodview Learning Centre is for students aged 5 to 16. Lindsay Court is the program coordinator and the principal of the school. She works with six instructors and one academic advisor.
It has a typical academic year of 10 months following the Halton District School Board and the school day runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Centre believes that all children can grow and learn new skills in school and from each other, that education involves learning all the skills in a person’s life such as problem solving, and children should try new challenges and have fun while doing so.
The Centre’s ultimate goal is to promote growth in academics, social and personal, develop skills that a student would need, and to provide a positive, healthy learning environment for the children.
At the Learning Centre, students follow a schedule that closely resembles one from a public school, teaching things such as reading and math. Before classes start, instructors will work with the student’s parents and study the strengths and weaknesses of the student to set up an individual education plan.
RELATED READING: More on mental health and autism
Services in the Learning Centre also include
-Access to individual computers
-A full size gym
The Learning Centre also hosts a field trip at least once a week, and offers other services, such as swimming lessons, karate club and help with extracurricular activities.
“This is my dream job,” Court said. “And I love working here because I love helping students and seeing them grow. And my favouGoymbis9rite thing is when students say they hated school until they came here and then they love school.”