City of Coral Gables, EMBRACING AUTISM
         Autism Support Day!

Please click here to watch our video, but be sure to click the "donate" button and help as much as you can."
City of Coral Gables, EMBRACING AUTISM
Coral Gables has been an amazing partner with Crystal Academy in serving the Autism community. Please watch the video."
Ocaquatics Grant
Crystal Academy students get lessons in water safety, and lots of fun, through a generous grant from Ocaquatics Swim School."
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities
  An amazing show of support
         for the children served.
Gables Foundation
Mary Snow presented Crystal Academy with two Promethean ActivBoards through a grant by the Coral Gables Community Foundation."
Government Day
Mayor Jim Cason welcomed the middle schooler's for an amazing day at City Hall. All learned and had fun as "Mayor and Council for a day."
Remote Observation
Remote Observation
Crystal Academy offers parents secure access to observe their child from any internet connection. Recorded sessions are available.
Promethean ActivBoard
Interactive Board
The new interactive board is a fun way to learn and share. All the kids love to be at the front of the class showing off for their friends.
Scientific Learning's Fast Forward and Reading ssistant
Fast Forward
Improve reading two grades in as little as three months, boost performance across all areas of study. Fast Forward and Reading Assistant.
Dan Marino WEalkAbout
Dan Marino WalkAbout
Dan Marino honors Crystal Academy for being top fund raiser for the WalkAbout for Autism for the second year in a row.
In the news!
"Coral Gables Now" interviews Crystal Academy CEO David Pike on Autism Intervention and the first ASD center in Coral Gables.
Mary and David Pike host UM-NSU CARD Tropical Nights
Tropical Nights
Mary and David Pike were honored to be asked to host the 2014 Tropical Nights benefiting the UM-NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities.
"Taco" the Guinea pig
Crystal Academy welcomes "Taco" the Guinea pig to the cllassroom. We voted on the name Taco but the vote for funniest picture is still open.
Social Play Day
Social Fun Day!
Everyone has a great time on Social Fun Day, especially the staff! With art, recreation, fun learning games, and many more playful, social activities.
The Pikes
Our Family ~ David Sr., David Jr., Mary and Joshua

In 2002 we were blessed with the birth of our angel David. By the time he reached 18 months of age we began to see behaviors we expected missing, and signs of inappropriate behaviors emerging. David retreated rapidly into himself until he made no voluntary sound, would not respond to his name or allow direct eye contact. He would spend his time when allowed fixated on spinning objects or other repetitive behaviors and would wander in public without regard to danger or our presence.

We reported these behaviors to his pediatrician and other medical professionals only to be told by one after the other not to worry, David was simply delayed and would emerge appropriately. I will be happy to never hear again how Einstein did not speak until he was four, true or not. Finally we got feedback from a neurologist in Puerto Rico, specializing in Neurological Reorganization and teaching others her principles, that David was not just "delayed" and that he required intervention to optimize his potential. We went through all the emotions of parents told their baby has a brain disorder that might diminish his entire life, denial, pain, rage, hope and determination.

We took David to the Dan Marino Center near our home in South Florida where he was seen by Dr. Roberto Tuchman, Director of the Autism Program at Dan Marino Center and the Director of Developmental and Behavior Neurology at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Tuchman's examination of David resulted in a diagnosis of Encephalopathy consistent with Autism, or Autism Spectrum and related Disorders (ASD). We told the doctor then that we would do whatever it took to help David, go wherever he was best served. Dr. Tuchman informed us that we were in-luck in that regard; that the best place for David was nearby. We took David to the recommended center and after a few months waiting for an opening he began what would be years of work and growth.

Or lives changed immediately and dramatically as we immersed ourselves in the job of raising David and learning to be his best possible parent guides out of the seclusion of Autism. This combined with the "normal" tasks of being productive citizens and parenting our second son Joshua, two years younger than David and neuro-typical, proved almost more than we could shoulder. There were so many challenges and no clear roadmap to success. Mary and I studied and tried everything we heard of that had evidence of success or even just sounded as if it made sense. Some things helped and some did not. In that process we learned that not all therapies help all children and that in fact all children in the Autistic Spectrum have similarities, but each is as unique in challenge as they are in personality.

As David grew and progressed out of the early intervention programs Mary and I began looking for what would be next for David. In our search we learned many things but one of the most important was that with the aid of the McKay scholarship opportunities for school age children were growing rapidly, but programs designed to help pre-school age children on the Autistic spectrum develop optimally and transition into the neuro-typical school environment were sparse, almost utterly unsupported by the public sector, and disparate in their approaches. The public school system was doing what it could but the classrooms were under-staffed, the teachers under-trained and the effort generally under-supported. While there were similarities in the few private options we encountered, like the fact that they were all personnel intensive and therefore expensive, there was little in the way of uniformity or comprehensive approach. It was based on this discouraging lack of options, and the success we were fortunate enough to enjoy with early and intensive intervention, that we embarked upon the task of bringing services to as many families of these special children as we can.