Farm Helps Children With Autism

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The Centers for Disease Control says one in 68 children has autism.

There’s no cure, but studies show early intervention and specialized learning environments can greatly improve a child’s development.

Lionheart Gardens in Alpharetta, Georgia is a one-acre organic farm at the Lion Heart School, which helps children with autism and other communication challenges.

“Every single crop on this farm is grown by the kids in one way or another. It serves the general purpose of being a farm, but it’s also a classroom educational experience,” said Katherine Kennedy, manager at Lionheart Gardens Farm.

For the younger kids, shoveling and raking leaves teaches body awareness, spacial memory and motor planning skills.

Older students, like Alex, learn actual job skills and strength building.

He says he’s come a long way since he started at the lion heart school.

“I’m good at climbing hills. There’s a big hill over that way, I can drive wheel barrows better than I used to move heavy objects,” he said.

Students are also learning how to interact with one another and how to be successful members of society.

“A lot of them will potentially be doing physical work one day, so I think just conducting this in a work, like in a professional manner helps with whatever they move onto next,” said Kennedy.

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