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Dr. Janice Adie Day School Students Practice Holiday Photos

Five years ago, LPS opened the Dr. Janice Adie Day School, a five-day-week program for preschool through grade 12 students with Autism. The school provides a structured learning environment with more individualized programming than can be offered in an inclusion setting; and the students have thrived.
Last week, the students whose families were interested practiced having holiday photos taken and interacting with Santa Claus.
“The holiday season can be a lot of fun for families and students but also stressful,” said Program Coordinator Christine Adams. “Typical events associated with the holidays can be overwhelming for our students.”
She explained that when they first started doing this five years ago, the process was much more complicated. The backdrop would be set up two weeks in advance so the students could get used to the backdrop set up. Then there would be a practice photo session with Santa so the students could get used to seeing Santa or the seasons backdrop and become familiar with the expectations for lining up, waiting their turn, and sitting and posing for the picture. A week later, they would do the official photo shoot once the students were more familiar with the process and expectations. This year there was no need for a practice run. The students did it all in one take!
“The students were amazing,” said Adams. “As a result of repeated exposure over the last few years, reviewing visuals, and providing the event in a safe environment, we were able to get some great pictures the families will treasure.”
The photo session was held outside so the students could remove their masks.
“This is one of many holiday events we work on throughout the school year,” Adams said. “The hope is for our students to generalize the skills learned to the same events in the community setting once they understand the expectations and have been desensitized to the process.”