Troup County introduces innovative special needs school

Troup County introduces innovative special needs school

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A new school is coming to Troup County that is designed to serve parents and children who are affected by certain disabilities.

The Discovery Cottage is a house that's being turned into a special needs school. This is designed to help elementary children with autism and other disabilities to learn in an environment that makes them feel at ease.

Discovery Cottage is unlike any other special needs school in Georgia. It will be a second home for the children that attend.

"My son has been to three different public schools in the last three years and for a child that's extremely autistic that is a life-changing event. So were trying to have a home environment they feel comfortable. When they feel comfortable they are more open to knowledge," Dale Jackson stated, who is a parent and supporter.

Discovery Cottage is still being built, but by this summer, it will help to address the needs of severely handicapped children.

"We want to get our feet wet, primarily focusing on severely autistic children and down syndrome students. And then work towards those that may have more medical issues," said Jackson.

Their plan is to make Discovery Cottage a year-round school, on the campus of Lafayette Christian School. News leader 9 was invited into one of the classrooms and they demonstrated how instructors will use the Interactive Listening System. This system included teaching special needs students through classical music.

"Mozart has been proven to grow the brain. It actually creates neuro pathways in a brain. Mozart heals the auditory pathways," Lyn Lacey said, Director of Discovery Cottage.

"In addition to the building itself, we've got the kitchen environment that we talked about having and the large table where they can learn to sit down as a family," Jackson said.

Lacey added, "I'm excited because it works and I too was a parent and searched for a program to help my child and those programs made all the difference in the world."

Director Lyn Lacey says the 'out-of-the box' teaching will help improve their reading, comprehension and attention skills.

The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship, government funding and the community will provide the financial support to fund this program.

"Many times it's difficult for Christian schools to serve the needs in special needs schools. I was contacted by a business that plans to give monthly to provide scholarships to help," John Cipolla said, Headmaster of LCS.

School officials say they will start off with only 10 children and four trained teachers, but they plan to expand as they grow.

If anyone interested in learning more about the program the Discovery Cottage will have an open house Tuesday, April 21 at 7 p.m.

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