AIM's program is designed for those whose struggles in school stem from language-based learning disabilities/differences. Applicants must have a learning disability, or be deemed at substantial risk for a learning disability, as diagnosed through a psychoeducational evaluation. AIM applicants may struggle to achieve academically commensurate with his or her age and ability.
AIM's program is not appropriate for students whose difficult learning is the result of a visual, hearing, or motor handicap; mental retardation; emotional disturbance; autism spectrum disorders; or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
Many students with a language-based learning disability/difference also struggle with attention in the classroom and some may also be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This child has a short attention span, is easily distracted, and can be unpredictable. The child's work is erratic-on Monday, Wednesday and Friday he/she might perform well-but on the other days cannot remember. Immature behavior may be seen at times and at other times the child may be extraordinarily perceptive and grownup. Some of these children may have been described as lazy, slow learners, willful children and surely puzzling. Others have been described as unfocused, "all over the place", or poorly disciplined when, in fact, they are having trouble with self-regulation and self-monitoring skills because of ADHD.
Outwardly, the AIM child looks like a typical youngster, but most often has perceptual handicaps thwarting the child from interpreting and acting appropriately upon the stimuli received. For example, the child confuses letters such as b and d, p and q, or can read and recognize a word but might not be able to write it.
The child may not respond appropriately to sounds, showing difficulty in rhyming and relating sounds to letters or letters to the whole word. Organizing thoughts logically and oral expression may be areas of difficulty. Since the child is often very bright, reasoning and synthesizing thoughts may be extraordinary while rote memory may be weak. Our student population is similar to that of The Lab School of Washington, where 85% of the children experience language-based learning disabilities; thus the curriculum works in every possible way to develop vocabulary and language fluency.
AIM's curriculum is based on the program that Sally L. Smith founded at The Lab School of Washington. This innovative program is designed to meet the needs of the learning disabled child via innovative and rigorous teaching methods which emphasizes the arts and hands-on experiential learning techniques that incorporates both one-to-one instruction and small group experiences. Candidates must be able to function within small group classes.
AIM Academy encourages applications and admits students of all racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds. Its programs are applied with equal consideration to all of its applicants and students. Prospective students may be referred to AIM by:
For a child to be admitted to AIM, current psychoeducational testing (within the past two years) and any other relevant evaluations must be submitted along with the application. Upon review of the application by the admissions committee, if it is deemed that AIM Academy can meet the needs of the child while encouraging them to soar to their areas of strengths, the applicant and his/her parents will be invited for a visit.