PEP Prentiss Autism Center supports young people ages 5-22 with autism and other complex developmental disabilities in discovering new ways of relating and communicating with the world around them.
PEP has worked extensively with children with autism and their families since the mid-1980s – long before it became a high-profile diagnosis. PEP Prentiss’ year-round programming is designed around the specific needs and hopes of each child and family. The goal is to build upon students’ existing strengths and teach toward independence.
PEP Prentiss’ state-of-the-art, 33,000-square-foot facility is designed specifically with this special student population in mind.
Classroom teams include an intervention specialist, a bachelor’s level assistant teacher and two to three other trained professionals supporting a small cohort of students.
To facilitate its highly individualized approach, PEP Prentiss’ staff-to-student center ratio is nearly one-to-one. Classroom teams work in concert with a roster of other experienced professionals – occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, behavioral specialists, art and music therapists, nurses, psychiatrists and a school psychologist – all committed to the holistic education and support of each child. PEP Prentiss’ approach also extends well beyond the classroom through its strong partnerships with families and other caregivers.
PEP Prentiss seamlessly blends center-based instruction with community-based experiences that emphasize socially appropriate communication and self-regulation. PEP also partners with local businesses and other service organizations that help instill vocational and life skills in students so that they can ultimately thrive in the community.
“Once we walked through the doors at PEP, we knew we were in the right place. We knew we were no longer alone.”
Shari and Jim Lahm, parents of a PEP Prentiss student
The decision to enroll a child in PEP Prentiss Autism Center is made by the parent in partnership with the school district. The actual referral is made by the school district.