What public schools in/around Bethlehem, PA have the best reputation for effectively educating adolescents with autism?


Gina Badalaty, Parent of 2 kids with disabilities, Professional Blogger

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Hi there, as a Lehigh Valley local with children approaching adolescents, I'd like to answer with some of the input I've received from professionals. Lehigh Career & Technical Institute is a school that comes highly recommended. They have many prep programs, covering subjects from engineering to culinary to photography. If your child is attending a participating high school in the district, he or she can also attend LCTI free of charge. Your child can attend half or full days, starting in 9th grade. Special needs students are evaluated by the school for lab placement and may be assigned a supporting staff member to help.

If your child is struggling with transition, as well, you can enlist help from Elwyn (formerly ARCH) for more formal/complex issues, and Include Me From the Start to work with the school to provide strategies to support your child.

Will Carington, works for Noodle

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I've set up two Noodle searches here, one for public high schools near Bethlehem, PA, and one for special needs high schools near Behthlehem, PA.

The public high schools, with the exception of the Bethlehem Area Vocational Technical School, the Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School, and the Lehigh Valley Charter School For Performing Arts, are part of the Bethlehem Area School District, which has a special education program with services for students with autism. To find out more, visit the district's special education page or contact the Office of Special Education at 610-868-8268. An administrator will be able to give you more information about what services are available and can also advise as to which school might be the best fit for your child. The same goes for Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School. To find out more, visit their website or call (610) 866-9660.

The schools listed on the special needs high school search are all classified as private schools, but it might be worth investigating the Centenial School, which admits students based on referrals from local public schools. Operated by Lehigh University, the school is designed to help children and youth with educational disabilities and conditions such as autism. You can learn more on the school's website or contact the school directly at 610-266-6500. A school administrator might also be able to give you advice about which local schools would be the best fit for your child.

For more ideas, advice, and information on this topic, consult Noodle's resources for finding a school, special education, and learning disabilities. Hope this helps, and best of luck!

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