The Lighthouse Learning and Development Centre is a school for children with autism in York Region. Our focus is on academic success from grades K-8.
We understand each child with autism is unique and special in their own way. Every child with autism has specific learning barriers that most mainstream educational facilities don’t understand. We help each child overcome these barriers to ensure academic success.
We also understand that while every child may have their learning barriers, they also have amazing strengths. We encourage those strengths and teach our children to be proud of themselves and what they can accomplish.
If you can imagine it, it’s possible at the Lighthouse Learning and Development Centre. We are committed to focusing on what our children CAN do and embracing their differences. Read more about our approach to learning.
The Lighthouse focuses on the individual student and how he or she learns. We offer a modified Canadian Curriculum for grades K-8, including Direct Instruction. Our program is facilitated by Ontario Certified teachers and support staff with extensive experience in Autism.
What People Are Saying About Us
My son possesses a duo-diagnosis of High Functioning ASD and ADHD; and to 'add insult to injury'..a year ago, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes(requiring daily insulin injections and blood sugar testings). My despair and frustration was unbearable due my son experiencing neglect and emotional turmoil..afflicted not only by the typical students, but also by the staff and administration of the 2 high schools that he had been 'shuffled
-to-and-from'. From September 2013-November 2014, my 13 year old child was not only 'bounced' from one program to another..but also from one high school to another! The staff from both schools claimed that he could not be taught the Ontario nor the Modified versions of the Curriculum. The staff and board administration relayed that he continuously refused to complete schoolwork, to listen, and that he actually lacked the ability to learn whatsoever! And to 'top it off', the staff and administration stated that they weren't equipped to oversee a student with Type 1 Diabetes! Which is completely discriminatory and demeaning..and caused my son to feel alienated and abnormal. As well, due to the lack of compassion and knowledge surrounding ASD, ADHD and Type 1 Diabetes on the part of high school staff and administration, my son displayed 2 episodes of physical aggression, and 3 episodes of verbal aggression; I thus decided to pull-out my child from the public high school system all-together. I hired a tutor/behavioural therapist who worked with him from December 2014 - June 2015. My son was so lonely, but was beginning to regain interest in learning. And, was becoming 'his old happy self'. In August of 2015, I gathered the courage to contact the LLDC(The Learning and Development Centre). I initially spoke with Serena Thompson 'who listened to me with her heart'...and displayed a wide range of experience and knowledge of ASD. The LLDC has and continues to demonstrate 'attention to detail', and wise counsel..which tells me that they have an understanding of the big ASD picture, as well as the individual details of each of their students. My son is now thriving..slowly but surely..to eventually succeed..thanks to the ongoing advocacy and supports in place at the LLDC. The LLDC has surpassed my expectations. I highly recommend this learning and development centre which demonstrates knowledge and compassion for students on the spectrum.
M.Z. Mother of a Lighthouse Student
What can I say about Serena and the entire Lighthouse Team? Professional, efficient, caring, nurturing, encouraging and accepting are terms that immediately come to mind. We struggled with finding the right place our son after being mislead by other schools that made false promises, or were not able to address our son’s educational accommodations, due to cutbacks and inexperienced staff. We were frustrated and disappointed with an education system that did not seem to have room for special children with specific needs.
When we first visited the Lighthouse, any concerns that we may have had were set at ease the moment we stepped inside the building. It is literally a learning Wonderland! From their state-of-the-art teaching equipment to the downtime/gaming area and sensory room (don’t get me started on that super-awesome ball pit!), this school is mindful for the varying needs and learning styles of each student. We saw positive changes in our son within the first two weeks of school and we have seen a marked and continued improvement in him academically, a definite increase in his confidence and a noticed decrease of his meltdowns. For the first time, our son has a best friend!!!
What makes the Lighthouse different from any other school, is that it was created by parents who understand and know what we ultimately want for our children – a safe environment that is cognizant of our children’s varying abilities yet sees beyond limitations and focuses on the child. The staff are committed not to just helping students reach their potential, but to strive beyond it. You really get a genuine sense of love and family at this school and we are grateful to be members of this great community. The very fact that our son is anxious to go to school each morning and comes home with a big smile on his beautiful face is the best testimony that I can give.
The Lighthouse…a beacon of hope for those who are lost at sea.
T.B. Mother of a Lighthouse Student
I have struggled for years to find an educational system that would teach my child with autism. I am so happy to finally find a school that will teach my son the way he learns. The Lighthouse Learning and Development Centre has created a positive environment for my child to learn,make friends and look forward to going to school everyday.
M.B. Mother of a Lighthouse Student
The Time is Now!
Our individual learning plans are customized to each child. Imagine your child coming home every day with a smile.