The Otto Specht School and Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts: Teaming Up for Strong Children

Two organizations are joining forces to give an extraordinary boost to kids of all kinds, including those with special needs

All children deserve a high-quality education — and children with special needs are absolutely no exception.

What all parents want for their children, no matter who they are, is to belong, to do meaningful work, to feel good about themselves — and to be happy.

Special needs students often require a customized curriculum to give them the best opportunity to flourish in life.

Personalized programs can be very costly, though — and many families simply can’t afford it. Too many are under financial constraints.

Thankfully, schools like the Otto Specht School aim to meet the needs of special needs students while handling any financial issues the parents might face with sensitivity and care.

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Founded in 1995 in Chestnut Ridge, New York, the Otto Specht School offers year-round educational programs for students with autism and other learning disabilities.


The school’s mission is to make possible a self-sufficient future for children with developmental delays, learning challenges, and sensory imbalances who do not thrive in a typical classroom setting.

Chela Crane, assistant director at the Otto Specht School, explained what these students can accomplish once they receive the tools they need.

“We regularly hear from parents whose children have been stressed out, unable to learn, have felt they don’t belong, or have been told they don’t belong at school. Given time, space, the wisdom of the curriculum — and the interest, care, and guidance of our incredible teachers, we see these same students learn, gain confidence, make connections, and grow in a myriad of ways,” she told LifeZette.

“For me, this work not only provides purpose, but hope — hope for a population often left out or overlooked, and hope, really, for humanity,” she added.

One parent, Mary Holland, said about the school, “It is really able to adapt to each individual child in a way that I have never seen any other school do.”

That insight is typical of those who experience the program.


The Otto Specht School aims to ensure its unique curriculum is available for those who need it regardless of economic status.

So, despite the increased cost of running these customized programs, Otto Specht does what it can to keep its tuition costs as low as possible. Yet some students still can’t afford to attend.

And this is why — after learning about this situation — Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts, the largest martial arts training organization in the United States, is stepping in to help. (Shown at the top of this article is Tiger Schulmann himself, who founded the company.)

Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts believes that limited financial means should not stunt a student’s potential. So the organization is teaming up with the Otto Specht School to help ease the burden for special needs families who would like their children to attend the school.

“Throughout our 35-year history, Tiger Schulmann’s Martial Arts has focused on our mission to help each of our students develop to their fullest potential,” Steven Bosyk, COO of the organization, told LifeZette.

“We truly believe every human being can benefit from confidence and a healthy body that training in the martial arts will achieve,” he also said.

He said the organization — with 44 schools in four states — is “especially proud to partner with the Otto Specht School in order to help them fulfill their caring mission of providing unique educational programs to students with developmental delays, social and sensory sensitivities, and learning challenges.”

Read more about these important programs here.

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