All Hallows In The Southern Cross

Catholic Education Accessible to Students with Special Needs

By Denis Grasska

SAN DIEGO — October is Disability Awareness Month and, in the Diocese of San Diego, there is cause for celebration.

Despite the common misconception that Catholic schools are not equipped to accommodate the needs of students with learning difficulties, nothing could be further from the truth.

Students with challenges ranging from dyslexia and other reading difficulties to auditory processing disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and Down syndrome are currently enrolled and thriving at local Catholic schools.

“We have pockets of innovation at each of our schools,” said Dr. Julie Cantillon, associate director of the Office for Schools. But the problem has been that these successful approaches to inclusive education haven’t always been shared among the schools — and, at times, not even among classrooms at the same school. Read more