YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Potential Development is a comprehensive education system for students with autism — for children as young as two-and-a-half years old through 12th grade. The school offers speech, occupational and physical therapy to help supplement their education.

Something else Potential Development offers are mental health services.

“Our students come to us with a variety of challenges,” said Melissa Jupp, who serves as COO of Potential Development. “It is our job as educators to provide an environment where they feel safe and secure so they’re ready to learn.”

Potential Development has several things in place to help students with their challenges including low student-to-teacher ratios, sensory rooms and a full-time school counselor on staff. There’s also a licensed social worker on staff who can provide connections to resources to families along with a monthly parent group that focuses on things like self-care, parenting skills and autism awareness.

Potential Development is also partnered with the Helms Foundation which provides art therapists to work with small groups of students. There are currently three locations in Youngstown, including a preschool on Indianola Avenue and two facilities on Market Street. One school teaches students in kindergarten through sixth-grade school and the other seventh through 12th grade.

For more information about Potential Development call (330) 746-7641 and visit them online at