About Imagine Academy
I applaud and congratulate all of the founders and staff of the Imagine Academy for Autism. It has been an inspiration for me to visit Imagine on several occasions and to observe closely the skill, enthusiasm, and dedication of your wonderful team. Many schools for autistic children are dull, depressed, and depressing. Yours is vibrant, alive with learning, music, motion, loving attention, and deeply meaningful human interactions.
It is in the nature of autism that it presents the greatest possible challenges to teaching and treatment. Imagine has developed a uniquely integrative approach that combines creatively what are usually seen as the two leading competing methods—Applied Behavioral Therapy and DIR/Floortime. You also offer the very best in Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy. The various components work beautifully together so that the whole is even greater than the sum of its individually excellent parts.
At Imagine, each child can reach his/her fullest developmental potential. A tailor-made, superbly delivered program guarantees the best possible prognosis for kids who deserve every break they can get.
One of the biggest problems in running a school for autistic children is the recruitment and retention of an excellent and cohesive staff. Here you stand well above any program I have ever visited. You have a remarkably talented and stable staff whose knowledge, humanity, and determination are unprecedented in my experience. I keep coming back for visits to Imagine because I enjoy watching your staff making learning and growing up fun for kids who otherwise have a great deal of trouble having fun.
Imagine’s culture is breeding an environment of advancement and collaboration for everyone involved—the students, staff, families, and trainees. You have created a superior program. It is a great pleasure for me to recognize this contribution. It is my hope that Imagine becomes a prototype for schools in the region and nationally.#
Allen J. Frances, M.D. is a Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University.