Our Teaching Methodologies
Our curriculum for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is based on the works of renowned authorities in the field, drawing from evidence-based models such as the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), TEACCH, and DIRFloortime®. This model aims to improve development in young children with ASD by utilizing the knowledge of how the typical child develops. The Early Start Denver Model integrates relationship-based, behavioral and developmental methodologies to create an individualized curriculum for each child.
We have developed our curriculum into four distinct levels.
The first level places a focus on developing skills like imitation, localizing to sounds, pointing, performing one-step routines, spontaneous vocalizations, shared smiles, responding to others, matching and sorting, playing independently with objects, stacking blocks, pre-writing, ball skills, interacting with family members, sitting in a chair for 1-2 minutes, managing behaviors and basic self-care.
In the second level we focus on developing skills like following a variety of 1 step directions, responding to “stop” and “wait”, labeling actions, spontaneous verbalizations during play routines, joint attention behaviors, playing chase, asking for help, sitting with group, turn taking with peer, verbal imitation, sorting by function, trial and error problem solving, playing with toys for 10 minutes, completing puzzles, snipping with scissors, imitating pre-writing strokes, ball play, using a tricycle, eating appropriately and removing outerwear.
The focus in the third level includes developing skills like following unrelated directions, identifying actions in pictures, using simple words and gestures to communicate, responding to WH questions, playing simple games with adults and peers, emotional identification, matching letters in name, identifies letters/numbers/colors/shapes, sequencing pictures in correct order, constructive play, dramatic play with objects, tracing, cutting with scissors, imitating gross motor actions, undressing/dressing, using toilet independently and washing hands.
In this level we focus on developing skills like understanding comparatives, using pronouns, following multi-step directions, producing a variety of verb phrases, speaking in 3-4 words sentences, answering questions about self, inviting peers to play, development of coping strategies, matching words to objects, counting, playing out life events, coloring pictures, writing some letters, cutting out simple shapes, playing typical motor games, as well as using the toilet and washing hands without help.
For Pre-K we focus on skills such as waiting in line, sitting quietly during a teacher-led story or discussion, working in small groups, choosing and completing free-choice activities, asking for help, using the toilet independently, verbalizing name, completing 2-step simple actions, identify body parts, counting to ten, recognizing alphabet, attempting to write name, throw and catch balls and using playground equipment.
Strategies from the intervention specialist, behavior specialist, occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist and physical therapist are all incorporated into the daily teaching plans. Additionally, family goals and concerns are a priorityand will also be included into teaching plans.
Behavior modification plans related to any problematic behaviors are developed by the team. Each plan is reviewed and copied to the parents for generalization and collaboration into all aspects of the child’s day.