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Shine Behavioral Academy Opens For K-6 Students On The Autism Spectrum

Filling a serious gap for underserved DFW-area kids on the autism spectrum, Shine Behavioral Academy opens its doors to its first students in Arlington today. The tuition-based, nonprofit school will provide behaviorally centered K-6 education with a curriculum based on leading-edge research and applied behavioral analysis.

The concept for Shine Behavioral Academy was born from the parents and staff of Shine Behavioral, an Applied Behavioral Analytics (ABA) multidisciplinary center that opened in 2017. The center, founded by local mom Emilye Schmale, whose own son was diagnosed with autism at age 3, offers a child-centric, family-friendly program, developed in consultation with the world-famous Cleveland Clinic, for kids across the spectrum aged 2-12.

Schmale says the families at Shine became frustrated when seeking suitable full-time school environments with specialized programs and looked to her for help. With limited local options, especially in public school systems, Schmale decided to open the Shine Behavioral Academy right next to the center. 

“At Shine Behavioral Academy, we believe every student can realize academic success when they are evaluated to determine their learning style and then taught based specifically on how they learn,” said Schmale. “We do not attempt to fit the child into an academic box, but instead seek to change our approach to suit them as unique individuals.”

The academy, which will serve verbal and nonverbal students and those with behavioral challenges, will not be grade determinant. The students will work at a level commensurate with their individual abilities. 

Students will also have access to Shine Behavioral LLC for other services, including a sensory room to engage students with light, color, textures and more; licensed music therapists; ABA therapy, speech therapy; occupational therapy; martial arts; and a hairstylist trained in caring for kids with disabilities.

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