Dickens Sanomi Academy (DSA) was cofounded by an educator of over 30 years (myself) who is the mother of a child with autism, a licensed behavioral analyst (Mr. H), and a business management consultant (Mr. Woody) who sought to create a “common sense” approach to enhance the lives of children in both the special education and the traditional education system. In rearing a child with autism, and experiencing the challenges in different school settings, DSA was created to tackle these exact difficulties.
The belief of seeing every child as an individual, thereby following Dr. Newell Kephart’s (the author of’ learning Disabilities’ and ‘An Educational Adventure’) approach of “the power of Observation "and then creating an individualized experiential education based on data collected, that would prove effective for every learner.
The objective was to not allow the label to define the child but to find the child within that label, and build on the strengths of the child while teaching him the skills needed to function in society. We believe every child is capable of learning.
We realized that behaviors are a means of communicating. In addressing and teaching the right communication tools, we reduce negative behaviors and allow for learning to take place.
We believe that having all professionals in one location, addressing the needs of the child, will facilitate fast and better progress in a child.
In 2014, the doors of DSA opened with 3 students, 2 teachers, and 2 administrative staff, in a 2,700 sq. ft space. The demographic consisted of all students with special needs, one being my son.
Over the years, DSA has increased its enrollment by 76% yearly, with parents being the greatest marketing force.
In 2020, we graduated our first high school student, who now attends Broward College with hopes of getting associates in Physical Therapy.
In 2021, in the midst of a global pandemic, we were still able to have another student graduate from high school; he also currently attends Broward College.
Today, we serve diverse population, of “typical” and “non-typical” individuals, totaling 140 students. Our faculty and staff, including supplemental service providers, are now at 27. We have also added Vocational training programs, in partnership with local businesses and in-house.