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Step N' Stones Autism Academy offering parents more opportunities for tuition

Step N' Stones Autism Academy gets approved for Georgia Special Needs Scholarship
Posted at 8:13 PM, Jul 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-27 15:40:29-04

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — "Cause not everyday is the same with an autistic kid," said Desirae Jackson.

Desirae Jackson is a mother to 5-year-old twins who attend Step N' Stones Autism Academy in Thomasville.

Jackson says when she first heard about the non-profit, she knew she wanted to enroll her kids.

"Even though they are twins they have different needs," said Jackson.

Jackson says what she likes most about the program is its ability to cater to each child and spend one-one time with them. Now, thanks to the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship this opportunity will be in arm's reach for more families.

"So for our children on the spectrum, if they have that IEP then what that gives that parent the right to do is to say I want my child to be educated at Step N' Stones," said Tinika Dismuke.

Meaning— If a parent decides to take the state funding that comes with a child formerly being certified as IEP, they can now use it go towards Step N' Stones tuition if they so choose. Right now, their tuition ranging from $13,200 to $26,400.

Founder of the academy, Tinika Dismuke says this is a major milestone after having worked in numerous school systems as a speech therapist for over 20 years.

Academic Coordinator, Kristin Mackay tells me she also has a son on the spectrum. Making it that much more important to her to provide a place suited for kids like him.

"So if they don't learn the way that we teach, we'll teach the way that they learn. That's a huge thing for us here. We're able to individualize programs, curriculum, lessons, activities that are meaning and applicable to their lives," said Kristin Mackay.

Dismuke says she wants to continue to help fill this need in Thomasville and are currently renovating a building suited to hold more kids.

Dismuke predicts her new building will be open by the end of this year.