When school is out for the summer, Amanda Walker keeps her Lamar Elementary School classroom open. She teaches a classroom of autistic students and wants to continue helping them learn and keep them from losing the gains they’ve made.

When school is out for the summer, Amanda Walker keeps her Lamar Elementary School classroom open. She teaches a classroom of autistic students and wants to continue helping them learn and keep them from losing the gains they’ve made.


Field trips have been the source of education and fun for these students. They have been out of the classroom experiencing new places, such as LEGOLAND and Jump’N Land, with their general education friends. Each week, Walker had a field trip organized for students to have fun and develop their social skills.


"We typically take field trips because some of our students don’t get the opportunity to be out in a real-world setting like that very often. When they do, they are certainly not engaged with their regular education peers," Walker said. "Our goal was to provide a variety of field trips for them to interact with the regular education peers and to really build on those skills we’re trying to teach them."


On Thursday, students went on a tour to see how Legos were made and see Lego replications of some of Dallas. The students saw Lego creations that featured the Dallas skyline, Cowboys Stadium and well-known characters from movies like Star Wars.


The students also got to experience 4-D movie where the chairs moved and bubbles came out of the air, which was a planned sensory experience, Walker said. After the movie, students were finally allowed to choose a station to build things they wanted to build. Some students chose to build a tall tower while others build race cars, she said.


"It’s life-changing (to watch). It’s what makes the Denison program stand out," Walker said. "It’s one thing to be able to take them on a field trip, and it’s completely different to provide them the quality education over the summer and be able to pair them with their regular education peers, it really makes them more like the typically developing children.


"Our goal is when you look at our group is to just see kids, not these are the autistic children and these are the non-autistic children," Walker said. "When you look at our group at LEGOLAND today, I hope you see just a group of kids."