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Date: 2017-09-14

As More Parents of Special Needs Students Seek Out Individualized Options, KIPP Expands ‘Pathways’ Program

During a recent car ride, Sheila Brailsford realized her son, Zameir Gray, had achieved something of a milestone: The 7-year-old boy, who is nonverbal and autistic, started saying the names of some of his favorite fast-food places.

“We rode past Applebee’s and he was like, ‘Applebee’s,’ ” she said, adding hard pauses between the consonants. “I was like, oh my God. … And he just kept saying it. It just lit me up. … For him to say anything, that’s progress.”

Brailsford attributes her son’s progress to Pathways, a two-year-old program at KIPP Life Academy in Newark. Pathways offers self-contained classrooms for students with the most severe special needs — such as autism, Down syndrome, and emotional disorders — at the KIPP Life elementary school and KIPP Bold Academy middle school, a few miles away.

Read the full story at The 74.