Verbal Behavior / Applied Behavioral Analysis (VB / ABA) principles
This classroom is rooted in the principles of Verbal Behavior / Applied Behavioral Analysis (VB / ABA) and focuses on data collection, errorless learning, and a positive reinforcement system to support children in the mastery of foundational developmental milestones. Students served in this classroom range from those who are non-verbal and working on learning to communicate using PECS and/or other Augmentative communication devices, to children who are verbal but limited in their functional or pragmatic language and require specific language intervention (both receptive and expressive). The Verbal Behavior Milestone Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) is administered and used as a guide for programming.
* This is a good placement for children who have only received discrete trial 1 on 1 instruction and are ready to move towards more group and natural environment learning. This classroom is led by Mrs. B (Lauren) and several highly trained support staff.
Elementary Intensive Curriculum
A variety of reading programs are used and all programs are individualized per student and learning style. Reading instruction may be taught with, but not limited to, one or more of the following programs: Edmark Reading, Hooked on Phonics, Reading A-Z, Lindamood-Bell Reading Programs (Talkies, Seeing Stars, Visualizing and Verbalizing), Reading Mastery and Explode the Code.
Math is based on developmental milestones and individualized to meet the needs of our diverse learners. One or more of the following programs may be used: Touch Math, Horizons Math, and Spectrum Math.
Handwriting Without Tears is the primary handwriting curriculum. Students advance through learning pre-writing strokes, using fading prompts and reinforcement to master proper handwriting techniques. For new learners, instruction focuses on integration of tactile input, decreasing tactile defensiveness, and work on building strength in hands, upper body, and core prior to formal handwriting instruction.
Sensory input is integrated into the daily routine and each child's unique sensory needs are met using different types of proprioceptive and vestibular input which includes but is not limited to: therapy balls, therapy swing, scooter boards, tunnels, weighted items and compression vests.
Social needs are met in a variety of ways depending on each child's abilities and learner profiles. For those children who are pre-imitative, they are taught first how to observe and copy an adult’s actions and then how to do the same with peers (foundation for acquiring social skills is the ability to imitate others). For imitative learners who are non-verbal or who have limited verbal abilities, they are taught how to request desired items from peers using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) or other communication systems and once that is mastered more interactive play skills are taught using positive reinforcement and visual supports. For children who are learning to increase expressive language and pragmatics the use of peer modeling, visual cues, social stories, video modeling, social scripts, time-delayed prompting and direct instruction help facilitate daily practice with initiating and maintaining on topic conversations with peers and engaging in functional interactive play with peers.
All children are taught to complete independent work tasks that are tailored to their skills and abilities.
- Students who are non-verbal and/or beginning learners follow the VB-MAPP which outlines a foundational developmental progression.
- These learners are exposed to academic concepts such as numbers, colors, shapes, and letters and move into more structured reading and math programs as their skill levels increase.
Progress is measured through the development of an IESP (Individualized Education Service Plan) for all students in this class.
- Goals are tracked daily through data collection and a report is sent home at the end of each day updating parents on progress.
- As benchmark goals are mastered, written documentation is sent home and new goals are started.