The Therapeutic School House, LLC

Ayesha Abdullah

My name is Ayesha Abdullah. I am an Intervention Specialist with 20 years of teaching experience. I started my career with East Cleveland City Schools, where I discovered my passion for special needs children. I am also a mother of a 14-year-old special needs son. He is currently in the 8th grade taking Honors classes, and he is loved by many peers and teachers. However, it took a lot of patience, understanding, time, and intervention to get him to this point.

When my son was diagnosed with Asperger, a form of autism, it was extremely difficult to find someone to care for him. No one had any experience or knowledge about caring for young children with special needs. I considered leaving my job many times to care for him, but we finally found an older lady who cared for mentally ill individuals and she was very patient and understanding about my son’s unique behaviors. In 2010, I began to conduct research to put my plan into action to open my own special needs daycare. I took a leap of faith and left my teaching career with East Cleveland in 2017, and I used my entire life savings to buy a 2800 sq. foot home to convert into a daycare. Now, I am currently the owner of the Therapeutic School House, a special needs daycare.

The daycare is a home—like daycare that provides specialized care and education to young children on the autism spectrum in a beautiful, safe, and stable environment. Our goal is to maximize each child’s level of development and adaption while preparing them academically and socially. Our unique approach allows each child to learn using attractive and adapted teaching material. We focus on pre-academic, cognitive, social, emotional and physical development through our play-based learning, as well our functional daily life activities.  We currently service 6 children between the ages of 2-3 years old. We are considered a Type B facility in Richmond Heights, which means we can only service 6 children. However, we implement other services, such as Open Play, Tutoring and Parent’s Night Out.

Moving forward, our long-term goal is to expand by purchasing another house with 6,000 sq. footage. We want to employ a Speech Pathologist and an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist. Secondly, we want to create a Mobile Sensory Bus that would allow children in rural and urban areas access to Sensory Therapy.

As I conclude, I would like to add that as educators of ALL children, we must be very open to learning from all students, whether they are special needs or not. It is important that teachers understand that we must first be teachers of students then of learning. Meaning, we must build relationships with students first before we ask them to complete a worksheet or a task. And once that connection is created, then both teacher and student can embrace the whole teaching process.

The Therapeutic School House is a one-of-its-kind childcare facility. Our uniqueness is derived from my professional experience as well as my motherly experience. I combined the best of both worlds to create something so extraordinary. I believe our unique program is extremely needed in our community because we provide a functional curriculum as well as play-based curriculum. Most traditional daycares aren’t equipped, knowledgeable, or experienced in caring for young children on the spectrum and we focus on the whole child. Furthermore, we provide a very intimate type setting and environment which allows everyone to be themselves. Many parents that enter our program begin to cry because they are overwhelmed with all that we offer. They leave feeling assured that their child will be happy and safe.

To learn more about Ayesha and The Therapeutic School House, LLC, visit