ECLIPSE helps some special needs kids

Published 11:29 am Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dear Editor,

Three years ago, my wife and I were blessed with twin boys.

Unfortunately, they arrived 13 weeks early. One has autism and the other has developmental delays. Both of our boys are in the ECLIPSE program offered by Shelby County School System for the current school year.

This is a groundbreaking and very successful program in which typical children encompass 50 percent of the class and the remaining 50 percent are children with special needs. This ingenious format allows the children to develop typical socialization skills while learning from each other.

Recently, we received a letter from the Special Education Coordinator of the school system stating this will be the final year of this incredible resource.

Very few families, including ours, can afford the appropriate amount of therapy. This is where the ECLIPSE program is able to positively affect many children. The progress evident in our children since enrolling in the ECLIPSE program is almost unbelievable.

It would be a great disservice to this community should this essential resource cease to provide invaluable services for the special needs children of Shelby County.