A Brief History of Spiritos School

the place children call "Janet's House".

In 1989, Janet Lachowsky, OTR/L MIS, an occupational therapist, wanted
to provide a unique type of therapy for Central Virginia's children with
sensory and learning disorders.  She founded Richmond Therapy
Consultants, Virginia's first freestanding clinic for Sensory Integration
Therapy.  This treatment approach uses neurodevelopmental methods to
help challenged children perceive and respond to sensory experiences in
a more typical and consistent fashion.

In 1998, the clinic moved from its small original location to the current site
in Midlothian. The new building was much larger. In fact, it wasn't even an
office--it had originally been built as a private residence. With over
twenty-three hundred square feet of indoor space and five acres of land,
Janet could now provide a much wider variety of movement therapies
than had previously been possible in the old setting.  Janet wanted the
new facility--which today includes both Richmond Therapy and Spiritos
School--to be as homelike as possible. Happily, most of the children who
have come for treatment refer to the clinic as "Janet's House".  Today, we
continue to take pride in and foster this comfortable atmosphere.

A special child sparked Janet's interest in the educational needs of
children with autism.  In 1999, a youngster named Matthew began coming
to Richmond therapy.  Although his extreme hypersensitivity to touch and
sound rapidly improved with treatment, problems with language and
social interaction continued.  Matthew was subsequently diagnosed with
autism.  Via the Internet, Matthew's mother discovered that educational
programs based upon Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) have been
quite successful with children with autism.  Together, she and Janet
investigated the ABA approach and incorporated it into Matthew's
therapeutic program.  (Janet later received extensive training in ABA
methods, and she will soon be fully credentialed as a Board Certified
Behavior Analyst.)  Matthew made impressive gains. Before moving to
another state, his mother wrote to Janet,

"I wish to express my sincere gratitude for the excellent work you
have done with Matthew. The commitment, caring and positive
reinforcement given by all has made a difference for my son."  
Vivian D.

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Spiritos School
"Spirit with an Operating System"