With new findings showing that one in every 166 children in the United States has autism, the school serves those dealing with the autism spectrum and other special learning needs including Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Pervasive Development Delay (PDD), Learning Disabilities (LD) Asperger’s Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, anxiety and bipolar disorders.
Ave Maria serves students ages 6 to 22 from Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Myakka City, Venice, North Port, Port Charlotte and Parrish in the Tampa Bay Area. The school accepts scholarships. Under the direction of Donald Pratt, Ph,D., Ave Maria has a very developed Anger Management Course for students.
Established in 2004 by Sister Gilchrist Cottrill, CE, the school follows the Florida Standards Curriculum Delivered for Diversity. As Sister Gilchrist explains, “We encourage students to use the Disney side of the brain — the right, artistic, intuitive side.” The experienced teaching staff offers strong remediation programs in reading and mathematics.
“We use programs recommended by the International Dyslexia Association and the Learning Disabilities Association of America.” Sister Gilchrist has been co-presenting with the President of the International Dyslexia Association, Dr. Eric Tridas. At these conference, both Dr. Tridas and Sister Gilchrist have been keynote speakers on the topic of “Executive Function” in the classroom. This is about the planning, organizing and memory skills needed for success.
The school provides student transportation.