Broadfording Christian Academy offers programs for special-needs students

September 24, 2012
  • Seated, from left, Celia Torres, home-school program director and NILD therapist at Broadfording Christian Academy, and Linda Higgins, home-school administrator and Orton-Gillingham tutoring specialist. Standing, Julie Malecki, autism home school reviewer, and Christy Spicer, HOPE program director.
Submitted photo

The administration at Broadfording Christian Academy recognizes that children are not all the same, and for some children to reach their full potential, their unique needs, abilities and learning styles need to be identified and nurtured in the learning process.

The school offers a variety of specialized instruction through its HOPE program, Orton-Gillingham tutoring program and Autism Spectrum Disorders Program.

The HOPE program offers a variety of services to students. Search and Teach is an intervention designed to identify academic difficulties in kindergarten and first grade. 

NILD Educational Therapy is an intervention for students in grades three to 12 with a diagnosed learning disability.

BCA has four trained therapists on staff. Christy Spicer, HOPE program director, said, “We are seeing significant changes in our students who are enrolled in educational therapy. The reason it is so effective is because it works on the cause of the learning disability, instead of the symptoms.

“Just like physical therapy, educational therapy focuses on the specific areas of weakness and strengthens them. As a result, students need fewer accommodations and are more independent in the classroom, and in life.”

Linda Higgins, home-school administrator and Orton-Gillingham tutoring specialist, received 90 hours of training in techniques to help students who struggle with reading, writing and spelling.

The reading method has been successful for students who struggle with dyslexia.

Julie Malecki has joined the BCA team as a home school reviewer for students with autism spectrum disorders.

In addition to having personal experience home schooling her own children, she has worked in a one-to-one home therapy setting and a school setting as a behavioral therapist and instructional tutor for children with autism.  

As the reviewer, she will monitor and keep a record of educational, functional and behavioral goals, provide a resource list and curriculum ideas. 

Celia Torres, home-school program director and NILD therapist, is thrilled that the home school department at BCA is able to expand its services to families with children who have autism spectrum disorders and wish to educate them at home. 

For more information, call 301-797-8886, or send an email to Spicer at; Higgins at; Malecki at; or Torres at

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