Autism Curriculum and Methods

Students receive instruction based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and evidence-based language strategies. The curriculum, schedule, instruction, and treatment procedure is individualized based on each student’s unique combination of strengths and needs.  Each student in the Autism Program has an Individualized Education Program (IEP).  IEP goals are taught systematically in structured and natural settings to promote maintenance and generalization of skills.  Staff continually monitor student progress and address difficulties based on data analysis. Evidence-based language instruction incorporates modeling based on the student’s interests, naturalistic teaching strategies, use of schedules and visual supports, as well as prompts and scripts that are systematically removed as the student becomes more independent in comprehending and using language.    
Applied Behavior Analysis is used to help each student achieve his or her maximum potential.  These principles include reinforcement-based procedures to teach skills and reduce undesirable behaviors.  ABA incorporates each student’s interests to ensure that students are motivated to learn.  We also use these principles to ensure that students learn skills systematically, practice them across environments, and maintain them over time.

ABA is based on over thirty years of research and is currently the leading treatment for students with autism spectrum disorder.  We are committed to incorporating ABA into the school environment while still allowing our students to have a typical school experience. 

The Autism Courses of Study blends access to the general education curricula of the state and local school systems with explicit and systematic instruction in skills necessary for our students to live, work, and engage in recreational activities in the community.  We individualize each student’s curriculum based on his or her age and needs. Communication, language, motor, and social skills are embedded throughout the day across all areas of the curriculum, which include Functional Academics, Independent Life Skills such as self-care and leisure, School and Community Independence, Career and Vocational Skills, and Family and Consumer Science.    

Evidence-Based Language Instruction is a foundation of the Autism Program. Teachers model and shape language and social skills, as well as capture and create language opportunities across all settings. Community-based instruction is a critical component of our language and social skills programming. Language opportunities exist not only in the classroom; they take place in all settings: in the library, on the playground, in the community, and at job sites.  Teachers participate in intensive annual and ongoing professional development from our Speech and Language Consultant.   

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