History of LUDIC
The precursor to LUDIC began in 1998 with the intention of founding a laboratory school for the Lee University College of Education focusing on children with special needs. The program was first housed in the Education Building on the campus of Lee University and included one classroom with two Lee student interns and a professor from the Special Education program overseeing the program. There were three students served that year.
LUDIC was formally established in 1999 with seven students, five of whom had a diagnosis of autism. Dr. Tammy Johnson, who previously served as the home-to-school coordinator for the program, became the director.
During the first school year of LUDIC, the CDC estimated 1 in 150 children were identified with autism. By 2006, the rate had increased to 1 in 110.
In 2015, LUDIC served a record enrollment of 27 students on-site. At this time, the CDC estimate had risen to the current level of 1 in 68 children identified with autism.
LUDIC is currently staffed by the program director, classroom teachers, and instructional assistants. Interns assist in the classrooms as well. Speech, occupational therapy, and physical therapy are provided on-site through various organizations (specific to each student’s needs and IEP). Our facility includes dedicated classrooms, sensory rooms, and therapy areas.