By Jack’s Mom, Natalie.
My name is Natalie Flanigan and I am a proud parent of a Gateway Academy 8th grader, Jack Flanigan. Jack was diagnosed with Autism and Cerebral Palsy at the age of five. We struggled along the educational path in finding the right support and understanding what a child on the autism spectrum truly needs. Jack attended public school from kindergarten through December of his 3rd grade year. It was a constant battle in getting the school to honor Jack’s I.E.P., as well as making and keeping friendships.
“I was totally blown away by that young man and really knew I wanted Jack to feel the same way he did!”
Jack was bullied so severely that he started to pull out his hair and all of his eyelashes and eyebrows due to the stress that the average day of school was for him. During this time, my husband Adam and I were interviewing schools to find a better place for Jack. When we came upon Gateway Academy, it was very quickly realized that this was the place for Jack. We toured the campus and also attended some classrooms in session. In one of those classrooms a young man came up to me before leaving and told me, “Your son is going to LOVE it here!”. I was totally blown away by that young man and really knew I wanted Jack to feel the same way he did! Thus we began our new journey with Gateway Academy!
Gateway Academy is a school for children who are on the Autism Spectrum. Every detail about this school, from the small class sizes, core curriculum, special electives and therapies offered, were all designed specifically for a student on the spectrum. Jack loves music, foreign language, going to equine therapy, the class and school field trips, doing the “Autism Walk”, performing in the end of the year class “Rock Cand” concert and graduation…I could go on and on!
“They helped guide us through the weeks of learning and made a huge impact in calming my son’s fears.”
What I love most about Gateway Academy is how much they make you and your child feel like part of the family! The staff and teachers truly care and want your child to succeed at school and when they’re at home too! Speaking of at home…during the early days of Covid-19, Gateway staff and educators came together and developed an at home curriculum that still kept our kiddos learning and their overall well-being front and center! They helped guide us through the weeks of learning and made a huge impact in calming my son’s fears. I couldn’t be more proud and happy to be a part of the Gateway Community!
“Every family deserves the happiness and sense of community that it brings when you find the perfect school for you!”
It is so very important that any and every family has the opportunity to choose where their children go to school. We were faced with a huge dilemma in finding funding for Jack’s tuition. The staff at Gateway helped guide and direct us in filling out applications for tuition assistance and scholarships. We are so fortunate to have AAA scholarships fund Jack’s tuition at Gateway. Every family deserves the happiness and sense of community that it brings when you find the perfect school for you!