In 2012, the Center for Disease Control announced that one in every 88 children nationwide has been diagnosed to have an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) that causes serious social, behavioral, and communication problems. Since ASD includes literally a wide spectrum of impairments in social interactions, communication, and restricted behaviors, each individual’s abilities may vary greatly by skill across a range of developmental and age levels.
Our middle and high school students in the Spectrum Program, and our 18-22 year old SAIL Transition students have been diagnosed with ASD ranging from moderate to severe levels of impairment. They all exhibit behavior and learning challenges which require more intense interventions than what can be provided in a public school setting. Some students need assistance with basic life and hygiene skills. Others with low or non-verbal communication skills use assistive speech devices.
Since our students are usually at very different ability levels, they are typically paired with an individually assigned behavior or functional living aide. Our aides receive intense ongoing training to learn how the student perceives the world, to identify and reinforce the child’s strengths, and to create strategies to improve the student’s weaknesses while also focusing on building flexibility, relationship and interpersonal skills. The teachers and aides all look for ways to connect with and provide positive social reinforcers to increase socially appropriate interactions.
We invite you to make an appointment to take a tour of our school’s Spectrum and SAIL Programs to see how the quality of our staff members’ and students’ interactions enrich each other’s lives and help to develop our students greatest potential to believe, achieve, and thrive!