With patience, understanding and caring, the Adele School seeks to bring out each special-needs child’s individual potential.
The Adele School is the only government school on the island that caters to children with developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, ADHD/ADD, and dyslexia. The school has about 60 students ranging in age from 5 to 21, and is continually growing.
Special education for Antigua’s developmentally disabled youth began in 1970 when Dr. Adele and Bernard Savoury began providing instruction in their home to a child with Down syndrome. One student became several and the school continued to grow from there. It became the Adele School for Special Children in honor of Adele Savoury in 1977 and was established as a governmental school under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education in 1978. It has been at its current location on Cemetery Road since 1986.
The Adele School focuses on children’s abilities and strengths rather than their disabilities, providing an environment that is free of peer pressure and unrealistic expectations. With individualized education plans and one-on-one attention, the goal is to help students become optimally well rounded, emphasizing literacy, mathematics, life skills, the arts, and physical training.
While the school receives basic supplies from the Board of Education, teaching materials, staff training and other resources are often lacking. The Mill Reef Fund’s ongoing financial assistance is essential in ensuring the continued care and education of children with special needs.