A Special Preschool in Pittsburgh for a Highly Autistic Spectrum Daughter

Updated on September 14, 2010
S.P. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
6 answers

Hi, my 3 yr old daughter was diagnosed last week with an autism spectrum disorder, her dr. said she is high on the spectrum which is a good thing. I want to put my daughter in a preschool that specializes in teaching toddlers with autism spectrum so the teachers there will be more trained to deal with her and have more patience, do you know one in pittsburgh? I live in the McCandless area in Ross. It would be great if she can attend one in the area, I am not even sure if they have schools like this in our area. Thanks for your input .

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I will second that LEAP is a wonderful program, however, it is very difficult to get into. You should contact the AIU3 to get your child enrolled in the DART program. It is a program based on the LEAP program. My son went for 3 years before entering Kindergarten, and had a great experience. They are placed in a classroom with typical peers. When my son started he was completely non-verbal, and severe. When he "graduated" the program He was speaking in sentences.
http://www.aiu3.net/ is the website for the AIU. Feel free to contact me if I can help further. I have 3 children on the autism spectrum.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I live in Mt. Lebanon and I know there is a great resource here that may be able to point you in a good direction. Here is the link:


Good luck to you and your family!!

Jen Ohrman

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Our son was diagnosed with high functioning autism when he was 23 months. He received early intervention, however I believe that ends at age 3 and we then had to go through MH/MR...I think...he'll be 14 on Wednesday so it's been awhile. He went to a preschool called LEAP. Because we live in Washington County he went to the LEAP program at California University...it was the most WONDERFUL school we could have hoped to find for him. Back then there were LEAP programs in each county. You should contact your local IU (Intermediate Unit). They should be able to point you in the right direction. I always heard Pressley Ridge is great, but they wouldn't accept anyone outside of Allegheny County so we were out of luck.

Our son is now mainstreamed in 7th grade pulling mostly B's! We couldn't be happier!

Best of luck to you!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I know 3 moms with children of different circumstances who love-love-loooove The Goddard School in Wexford. One mom has a 30mo son with PDD (current diagnosis, but undergoing evals for possible Autism diagnosis) - the school works with their ever-changing schedule (due to her work, her husband's travel and the son's therapy), and the school is totally open and welcoming to whenever the therapists need to sit in his classes.

Another mom has two sons - one is pretty much a genius, adding/subtracting/reading at 3yo, he had problems in a 'regular' preschool but is thriving at age 5 at Goddard; the younger son has dozens of sensory issues and some developmental delays, the school has been great for him and they have no problems with her stopping in to nurse him (its the only thing that soothes him at 4yo).

Another mom has twin girls with no issues/delays/etc - she just swears by the school, says everyone in her neighborhood highly recommended them and she loves it.

Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

My friend's son (with Aspergers) went to a place in Castle Shannon--St Francis Academy. I know this is far from you but I was thinking if you called, maybe they could recommend a place in the North Hills? Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

A friend of mine has had her child go to a Stepping Stones program since he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism spectrum (NOS) at age 2.5. He's enrolled in the local public school and no longer needs an IEP there, but still goes there twice a week in the evenings because he gets so much out of it (he's 8). I know she would highly recommend it. (http://www.nhsonline.org/services/autism/community-based-...)

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