Jennifer Fillippone Calley Middlebrooks
Calley Middlebrooks, Founder
Jennifer Filippone, Director
I am Calley Middlebrooks, founder of South Walton Academy, wife, mother to three, and an Early Intervention Therapist for the State of Florida’s Early Steps Program, working with children with developmental delays. My son Reid, was diagnosed with Autism at the age of four. As a professional helping families and personally as a mother seeking services for my son, I have seen the challenges we face as a community with a lack of services available, specifically for those with Autism and other related learning disabilities. The one thing I saw over and over again were families who needed support. Children with Autism and those on the Autism Spectrum need therapy and an education system with a curriculum specifically designed to meet the needs of their individual abilities just as much as neuro-typical and advanced students.
I watched my neuro-typical daughter struggle with the common core curriculum and get "stuck" with busy work because she had completed the entire day's work "too soon". She struggled because she needed more of a challenge and was ready to advance sooner than her peers. My son struggled to keep up with his peers. I wanted both of my children to be successful for different reasons, and felt that with guidance and inclusion, experiencing an individualized curriculum would do just that.
After some research and realizing that no such school existed here on the Emerald Coast, with the help of Jennifer Filippone, Director, along with colleagues, therapists, and close friends and family, we created South Walton Academy.
We offer a range of educational and therapeutic options from a school program full time, part-time, hourly, one-on-one, to therapy programs, after school programs, art programs and more. We provide opportunities for Group classroom instruction, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Developmental Therapy, Individual Verbal Behavior Therapy, and as an added therapeutic and educational assistive technology such as being trained to implement the Integrated Listening Systems (iLs).