Autism Programs/Spectrum Program

Our groundbreaking relationship development focused Spectrum Autism Program is for individuals with autistic spectrum disorders. Currently, enrolling students, the Spectrum Program involves instructional staff and family collaboration to improve students’ social, emotional, and relationship development using guided participation and community-based learning activities. The program focuses on developing:

  • Motivation and an ability to share experiences with others
  • Flexible creative thinking and problem solving
  • Communicating feelings and meaning
  • Integration of parts to focus on the whole
  • Self-awareness and adaptable social behavior

Instructional and related services are provided based upon goals and objectives written in IEPs Individual Educational Plan (IEP) and the Curriculum Guide for Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities published by Lakeshore for California County Superintendents Educational Services Association and Special Education Administrators of County Offices. Each Spectrum student has an individual notebook that contains every IEP goal, and staff members track progress towards achieving every goal on a daily basis. In addition to regular progress reports, Spectrum staff logs progress daily, and weekly to record goal progress, demeanor, behavior, and social interactions.

Students on Autism Spectrum

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, individual ability levels vary greatly across developmental and age levels.

Our students in the Spectrum Program, and our SAIL Transition students have been diagnosed with ASD ranging from mild to severe levels of functioning. 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 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 the school to see how the quality of our staff and students interactions enriches their lives and helps develop their greatest potential.