TV stars at Texas Star Academy

Leslie Kipp (whose son Clark graduated from Texas Star Academy) and Janet St. James from WFAA-TV

Leslie Kipp (whose son Clark graduated from Texas Star Academy) and Janet St. James from WFAA-TV

Earlier this month Easter Seals North Texas was featured in a story on WFAA-TV in Dallas/Ft. Worth showcasing our inclusive school. Texas Star Academy is the only preschool in North Texas that provides an opportunity for children with autism and other disabilities to learn alongside peers without developmental disabilities. Our preschool is open to both typically developing children and kids with a developmental diagnosis ages 12 months to six years.

A reporter from WFAA-TV interviewed Leslie Kipp, whose son Clark graduated from Texas Star. this fall, he moved on to a traditional kindergarten, and his mother credits Texas Star Academy for helping her son succeed.

I was interviewed for the story, and while I was quite nervous, I was also really excited to have the opportunity to talk about this program. I felt the news piece did a really nice job showing the diversity of our population and the wonderful staff we have working here. I do wish we had more time to discuss applied behavior analysis (specifically the incidental teaching model) and also mention Easter Seals’ Make the First Five Count campaign. Oh, well. I guess there is only so much that can be said in a 90 second piece!

I thought viewers might understand why a parent would want a child with autism or another disability to attend our school. I wanted them to know it is a positive experience for typically developing children too, so I was glad to see that the finished piece quoted me saying how effective our inclusive school is in teaching all the kids there to learn skills such as language skills, how to interact with others, and how to play with each other.

Most important, though, was the message that our school also teaches their peer models how to be stronger leaders. I also thought it was great in showing that all of our children have strengths to share with one another and that no matter one’s ability, we can all learn from each other.


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