Cheryl Swope on Classical Education and Special Needs

We often think classical education is for bright, highly verbal children with a propensity for languages, but what about children with special needs? What about children with dyslexia, autism, or intellectual disabilities? Does a classical education have anything to offer these children?

When Cheryl Swope adopted 14-month old twins, both with autism, learning disabilities, and severe mental illness, she chose to tackle this question. And with a Masters degree in special education and a K-12 teaching certificate in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders, she was as prepared for the challenge as anyone could be. As her children began developing a love of math, theology, and Latin, and began composing music on the piano and writing poetry, it became clear that Mrs. Swope had risen above the stigma and proven that truth, goodness, and beauty can be brought to any child.

Yet the journey did not end there. Following the success of raising her twins to be the smart, caring, wonder-loving people that they are, Mrs. Swope went on to design the award-winning  Simply Classical Curriculum for any parent facing the daunting task of raising children to love the true, the good, and the beautiful, whether or not they have special needs.

Join us at the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University as Cheryl Swope helps us to consider the beautiful possibilities of classical education for all children on June 25 at 7:00 pm in Baird Library at Eastern’s St. David’s campus. Her book Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child will be available for purchase at the event!


Samuel Belk (Cohort of 2017) is a rising junior in the Templeton Honors College and is excited to be working for the Templeton Honors College this summer. He is a History major with a minor in Astronomy.