We can support your child’s special needs
All students — regardless of ability — are part of God’s plan and deserve the opportunity to succeed. That’s why Diocese of Allentown Catholic Schools have invested heavily in proven, compassionate education for students with special education needs.
With both a school-integrated Aquinas program that provides learning support with direct instruction, as well as focused special learning centers, we can help your son or daughter reach his or her full potential.
Local school support through the Aquinas Program
For students with diagnosed learning disabilities, some families prefer support in a more traditional K-12 setting. The Diocese meets their needs with the Aquinas Program — a unique solution providing both individualized instruction and peer-adjacent education at every grade.
The Aquinas Program for elementary Catholic education
For elementary-age students, the Aquinas Program is centered on individual, specialized instruction to address each child’s learning disability. They join their peers for religion, social studies, science, physical education, computer, and art classes throughout the week.
The Aquinas Program for secondary Catholic education
High school students receive an evolved form of this program. Each day, they participate in a structured Learning Strategies Class to support their special needs. For their other periods, they participate in integrated study with classmates, bolstering their self-confidence and academic success.
Our dedicated special learning centers
The Diocese runs three schools specifically designed for students with intellectual, developmental, or learning disabilities: our special learning centers. These are vibrant pre-K-12 centers where students receive access to programs that include:
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech and language therapy
- Adapted physical education
- Music and art therapy
- Self-help instruction
- Social skills development
- Math, reading, and religion
Our focus at each of our three locations is whole-child education. Leveraging approaches such as group learning exercises, individualized instruction, community trips, classroom integration, and other planned activities, we help students strengthen their social and developmental skills so they can succeed inside and outside the classroom.
Who qualifies for special learning centers?
A student must be evaluated and identified as having a disability and in need of specially designed instructional strategies by a Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation (MDE). Most frequently, students who qualify for admission to our special learning centers are identified with:
- An intellectual disability
- Multiple disabilities, or a severe disability
- Orthopedic impairments (physical disabilities)
- Visual impairments or blindness
- Hearing impairments or deafness
Please contact us for further information on evaluation, registration, and admission.
Share your special education questions
Supporting students with special needs — academically, spiritually, and financially — is part of our mission at Diocese of Allentown Catholic Schools. Contact us to learn about special education assessment, financial aid, and more.