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Temple Grandin School

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Secondary & High Schools

Mission: The Temple Grandin School serves exceptional neurodivere students. Our program provides a challenging curriculum, real-world resources and mentors, and integrated social and organizational skills support. Working together with families, our mission is to meet the unique needs of these students in an individualized, strength-based program that builds students’ confidence, knowledge, and perseverance and prepares them to fulfill their potential as effective citizens of the 21st century. Through our collaborative program, TGS will educate the community about the talent, skills and character of its students, and be a catalyst for the development of innovative educational programs that meet the needs of all students.

Target demographics: Neurodiverse students in 5th-12th grade

Geographic areas served: Denver and Boulder Metropolitan Area

Programs: a challenging school curriculum, real-world resources and mentors, and integrated social skills support. Working together with families, our mission is to meet the unique needs of these students in an individualized, strength-based program that builds students’ confidence, knowledge, and perseverance and prepares them to fulfill their potential as effective citizens of the 21st century. TGS' unique program and collaborative strategy will educate the community of the powerful talent, skills and character of these valuable individuals and help transform education generally to work for all students.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son *loves* TGS. The teachers, admin and staff really nurture middle schoolers, while giving them a wonderful education in both academics and social/emotional skills. They understand and support kids with executive function challenges and are overall great humans. TGS really shows how much students can learn when their needs are met and they feel safe at school. My son was recently asked what his best year of school has been and he said, "This year. By far."

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2014 I was asked by a fellow entrepreneur to help with a technology demo involving drones and robots for the students of the Temple Grandin School. I knew a little bit about Autism, and I had driven by the school many times, but I went in with no idea what to expect. What I found was a group of bright, curious and interesting students, and a staff that has made it their life to give the kids the best education they can.

After that demo day, I was invited back, and I found myself returning on an almost weekly basis to talk to the staff about the school and then occasionally presenting to the kids about entrepreneurship. Some of the kids had already started their own small businesses and others showed a real interest and aptitude for being entrepreneurs in the future.

Although I was the volunteer, I believe I received much more from the kids and staff than I gave. I believe the kids are getting great support and a great education, and I highly recommend the Temple Grandin School.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Looking back, our son's whole attitude on life seemed to start changing around the time he learned Temple Grandin School was even a potential option. The year prior to TGS our son had worked hard to transition to a main stream school, only to find it to be yet another form of "torture". At that point he basically saw no future, and viewed almost everything as negative. His growth since then has been nothing short of astounding. Even though it has only been a few months now, his experience at Temple Grandin School has already been valuable beyond words. Miraculously, there is renewed hope for a positive future.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My grandson has asperger's syndrome and had trouble adjusting to school settings once he reached jr. high. I helped him move from several private schools that had programs designed for students with special needs, however, there never was a perfect fit. His final year of high school he was enrolled at Temple Grandin School and he did extremely well with the individual attention and accommodations for his special learning style. The administration and staff were very dedicated to the success of each student enrolled. I were extremely happy that his senior year was successful there and he was able to graduate. I would definitely recommend this school for other students with special needs.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Working with a kid with Aspergers is never typical, never common place. Without a deep understanding of how they view the world, it can be down right frustrating (even with an understanding it can be frustrating). But on the other side there is an immense beauty to who these kids are and what they have to offer. The folks at Temple Grandin Schiool never lose sight of this.

We have worked with our son for the past several years in a number of environments - some that got it and some that didn't - but not until TGS have we witnessed a group of people who truly celebrate who these kids are and build from their strengths, instead of focusing on their weaknesses. We have seen our kid go from dreading school work to enjoy heading off to school each morning. He still has work to do, but TGS meets him on his terms, and the progress in just a few short months has been amazing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In the short time my son has attended Temple Grandin School, his life has changed. The other day he came home from school and said, “You know that saying, ‘Life sucks, then you die?’ Well, I say, ‘I’m going to live my life to the absolute fullest, then I’ll die.’” He is full of joy and enthusiasm about school and life. Prior to going to TGS, he dreaded school, often crying, acting out, or refusing when it was time to go. His teachers and administrators tried, but public school doesn’t work for everyone. Not only did he not progress much educationally, but the school system robbed him of his spirit.

Temple Grandin School does just the opposite. They understand that kids on the Autism spectrum have great gifts and special needs. At the beginning of his first meeting there, they asked him, “What are you good at? And what do you like to do?” He perked up and smiled. Other people often asked him why he couldn’t do certain things and focused solely on what he couldn’t do.

TGS works under the philosophy that kids will do well if they can and that an environment that meets their needs has a lot to do with their success. There is much truth in that, and this puts responsibility on educators to work toward providing every child with an environment in which he or she can succeed. This certainly is playing out for my son at TGS. He feels comfortable, respected, understood, and cared about in this environment and therefore is able to make the educational progress and personal growth that he wasn’t able to before. He has a bright future ahead!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter, "S", has Aspergers Syndrome. She is a "highly functioning child with autism". The "high functioning" part of her diagnosis has always bothered us- it sounds so cheerful. Well, much of it is not. We went through several years, many physicians, various behavioral therapists- with very little understanding or help. Our local public school was a nightmare. She was serially bullied by various children, with no assistance from our district.
We found The Temple Grandin School. A small school for kids on the spectrum. There are almost as many staff as students, classes run 4-6 students most of the time. Her education is totally tailored to her needs (catching up from public school), also behavioral care and social support. Because of Temple Grandin, she has gone from panic attacks, "explosions" and being alone, to having friends that understand her, she has almost all "A's", and she loves school and life. We feel truly blessed to have found TGS!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

What is Autism? What is PDD-NOS? What on earth is a spectrum of disorders? On top of all the confusing labels flying around, what do you do with a child who is curiously gifted in certain areas while at the same time conflictingly functioning well below grade level in other areas? What is the cost to society if we fail to educate a child with amazing potential, who as a consequence of never being reached academically, cannot positively contribute back to society?

By the time our son reached his first teenaged year he had given up on learning and hated school. He was tired of feeling "special" and "stupid" ...different from him peers. Integration into public education for high functioning children on the autistic spectrum? There are no special education classrooms to meet gifted yet challenged students. Instead of learning our son was excused from the regular math and writing classes to "help" the librarian check in books or deliver notes to the front office. We found that he was being "special educated" out of an education. His self-esteem suffered and he only saw deficits instead of strengths. By the 6th grade he vocalized often about wanting to quit school as soon as he was legally old enough to do so.

The Temple Grandin School saved our son. He is thriving and excelling in a welcoming community of students and teachers that support differences, champion strengths and support the deficits with an air of "deficits are merely areas waiting to be explored for hidden strengths."

The teachers at this school are like none you've ever encountered. These are gifted educators who are inspired by the children they are called to teach. The level of commitment and devotion from teacher-to-student is palpable. The communication from school to home is unmatched and we are involved seamlessly with the education plan. The Temple Grandin School is not just a school...The Temple Grandin School is a model of excellence in educating and supporting the whole child.

The cost of private education is an investment in the future. The question is, is it too expensive to educate a child so that the child can achieve their highest level of independence? Or is it more costly to live with the consequence of the financial and social burden over a lifetime for a child that never progresses beyond dependence? What price would you pay for a happy, independent, educated, child that can navigate socially with success?

The Temple Grandin School has done the impossible. They have infused our teenager with a renewed curiosity for learning! He talks about college now instead of dropping out. (He never thought university was even a remote possibility and according to our public school's evaluations, neither did we.) He is learning to navigate socially and he's enjoying it! He has made a few really good friends at school and this is the first time he's been excited to do things with a good buddy...a real friendship-connection. Our children deserve an education, but can any of us function in this world without the ability to connect to another human being? We have found not only a top-notch education at The Temple Grandin School, we've found genuine human connection!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

There are few programs that truly accommodate the needs of students on the Autism spectrum. Fortunately, TGS has designed a program that does this and does it well. Perhaps TGS's biggest asset is the continuity among the staff. They are each able to connect with every student, build a relationship, which I believe is the core of any successful teaching environment, in my opinion.

In a small intimate setting like at TGS, over the course of the school year, students respond to the consistency and predictability of those around them. TGS's schedule and extra curricular activities help to build a positive safe environment where the students feel appreciated, understood and included.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

After several years where my child was barely surviving in public schools, we are thrilled to have found Temple Grandin School. Now my very smart kiddo is thriving in school; he looks forward daily to going to a school where his gifts and talents are appreciated and celebrated. The teachers and staff "get" Asperger's and how different brains work. Social skills and other objectives including perspective taking, planning and self awareness are part of the curriculum and school culture. Strengths are recognized and dreams are nurtured. And my kid is getting a great education! It is so amazing and rewarding as a parent to see my child exactly where he needs to be, growing into the confident and successful young man he was meant to be.

2 Hr L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Temple Grandin School was literally a lifesaver. My son was near the end of his rope at public high schools. The dedicated staff accepted him and helped him celebrate his unique passions. They gently led him to accomplish more than he had in years. He has a new acceptance of himself, his Asperger's, and the world he must live in. They helped him take the first steps toward independence.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Finding TGS was like a miracle for us. Our daughter did well in public school through elementary school with the help of a great special ed staff, administration and teachers, and then was finally diagnosed with Asperger’s in 5th grade. When she moved up to middle school it was a completely different story. Her grades fell immediately from A's and B's to C's, D's and F's and her whole demeanor changed from a happy go lucky girl to a very unhappy girl who was practically petrified at school. The psychologist at that school did everything that she could but without support from the administration and other teachers it was impossible.
I found TGS one day during the summer after 6th grade on the internet through a fluke and decided to contact them even though I thought there was no way it could work at that late date and with the hefty cost. The staff at TGS was so helpful and encouraged me to give it a try and in the end we were able to work it out with help from the tuition assistance fund and some fast footwork. I was so happy to walk into her public school on the first day and withdraw her.
At TGS her grades started coming back up and she is once again excited about learning. She missed only one day of school last year due to illness, whereas she missed so much in 6th grade that the school sent a threatening letter. She has even made a couple of friends who share her interests and I expect this upcoming school year will find her loosening up even more and becoming more comfortable with the other students. She LOVES school now even more than she ever has and is actually unhappy about summer break.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Temple Grandin School in Boulder has been amazing in every way! The staff is comprised of an extremely dedicated group of professionals who clearly care about every student and his/her family. Our son, who prior to attending TGS, was unhappy with public and private school and failed to thrive in homeschool, LOVES TGS! In just one year, he made incredible gains and for the first time in his life is looking forward to a new school year! The students at TGS are great kids and our son made many friends this past year, which again was a first!

TGS instructors know how to reach our kids and inspire them to become better human beings. Our son has gone from telling us that he was never going to have a job...to asking for tutoring over the summer in a subject that is difficult for him to better enable him to get admitted to the college of his choice! All of his teachers have had a tremendous impact on his self concept and he feels a connection to each and every one of them. We could never thank TGS enough!

1 Christine86

Client Served

Rating: 5

Like many mom's of an autistic middle schooler I had reached the end of my rope. In spite of his intellect, kindness and great sense of humor, my son was no longer able to function in public school. We held it together with the consistency of a small support team through elementary school, but the higher demands and challenges that go with middle school did us both in.

As a single mom, I could not maintain the constant attention needed to get school services. I had heard about the Temple Grandin School from a friend and while it sounded wonderful I cringed at the financial burden of private school Yet I had reached the point where my son was at a fork in the road and my decision about his school was going to determine how productive an adult he will become.

What started as a feeling of a 'we have to give this a try"... turned into a life changing experience for both me and my son.

He is still autistic - he still struggles with certain aspects of school - I still worry about whether I am doing enough to help him.... yet the staff at TGS 'gets it' .... they know how to help him and support me. The progress he made in one year in terms of his engagement with other people and improved executive functioning has been extraordinary.

After years of such a big sense of angst as a new school year approached, this summer we approach a new school year with anticipation and yes even a little excitement.