School for Children, Adults With Autism Opening in Woodland Hills

The school will offer intensive, one-on-one instruction for ages ranging from toddler to young adult

A private day school for children and adults with autism is opening in Woodland Hills in mid-March. The school will use a special teaching strategy called applied behavior analysis, or ABA, to help people with autism learn life skills.

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) Academy is open to students in a wide range of ages, from 5 years to 22 years old. The school will offer intensive, one-on-one instruction for individuals with autism, developmental delay and speech-language impairment.

"We have individuals who are very severe, we have individuals who are higher functioning," CARD’s Director of Operations Sarah Cho said.

Parent Lisa Carreon says she first noticed something was different about her son, Emelio, when he was a baby.

"Around 2 (years old) he still wasn't talking," Carreon said.

Emelio, who was diagnosed with autism, has been thriving since using CARD's services.

The ABA-based technique breaks down a specific skill into a "very small step" and CARD instructors "are able to teach it with prompting and teaching strategies," Cho said.

For Carreon, the opening of CARD Academy means a better chance at a brighter future for her son.

CARD, which has 29 treatment centers worldwide, will open CARD Academy (its first school on the West Coast) in March. The school is currently accepting applications. CARD plans to open another center nearby the Woodland Hills school soon after.

For more information on CARD Academy call 855-345-2273.

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