Autism Programs and Services
Programs for school-aged students with Autism and related disorders
Spectrum Center’s autism programs are guided by proven, research-based strategies, including the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA). Applied behavior analysis, a discipline devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior, is the foundation of Spectrum Center’s approach to teaching children with autism and related disabilities.
This includes specific strategies for increasing student’s communication and social skills, academic skills, adaptive living skills, and vocational skills; strategies for decreasing behaviors of concern based on the results of functional analysis assessments, teaching alternative appropriate behavior; and teaching self-control strategies.
Special Education Curriculum
Spectrum Center programs follow a research-based curriculum that aligns to state learning standards. Spectrum Center staff create an environment that is predictable, consistent, structured and positive. The curriculum involves repeated learning opportunities using both highly structured and naturalistic teaching strategies and focuses on generalization of skills across stimuli, people, and environments.
Program staff, under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) use various evidence-based teaching methods identified in recent reports by two distinguished research groups:
- National Autism Center – National Standards Project (2015)
- National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders – Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth, and Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder (2014)
Special Education Teachers
In addition to providing direct support and supervision to teachers on the methods described above, the BCBA will support teachers in conducting a comprehensive curriculum-based assessment to identify present levels of performance and prioritize educational needs. Special education teachers and instructional aides will follow a developmental progression of scripted lesson plans to increase skills in critical areas for students with autism such as:
- Functional communication
- Social skills
- Daily living skills
Instructional Team Works Together to Design Positive Behavior Support Plans
Spectrum Center provides an instructional team that consists of BCBAs, certified special education teachers and instructional assistants to ensure that students are provided the services and support described in their Individual Education Programs (IEPs).
The BCBA works with district IEP teams to identify target behaviors and conduct functional behavioral assessments as needed to design positive behavior support plans. The BCBA will support staff with behavior plan implementation and data collection and provide close supervision to ensure plans are being implemented with fidelity.