School Facilitation for Autism and Related Disorders
Depending on the age, skills and deficits of the child upon entering our program, school placement may come into play. The sooner a child can catch up on his/her skills deficits, the better their chance of integrating into a school environment. Our goal is for children to be placed in mainstream school environments so that they learn from and model typical peers. The child’s allocated supervisor will assess whether the child has pre-requisite skills for school and will thereafter make a recommendation on school placement. If your child does not have the pre-requisite skills for school placement on assessment, the pre-requisite skills to school will then become a part of your child’s program at the Star Academy in order for us to prepare the child for a school placement in the future.
The aim of our Star Academy school facilitation program is to introduce the child to the school setting that best suits their particular needs. Our goal is for the child to be an active and ultimately independant member of the classroom. Allocating a trained Star Academy facilitator to the child will allow the child to stay on par in the classroom and eventually the end goal being, the removal of the facilitator and the independence of the child at school.
Once a Star Academy supervisor has been assigned, the Supervisor will meet with the parent and the chosen School to discuss the school placement. At the first meeting with the school, the Supervisor will discuss what is required for the particular child to be successfully placed in the school setting. The initial school meeting will cover items such as how many hours a day the child should be placed in school with facilitation, at what times of the day and which lessons the child should attend and any other specific details relevant to the child.
At the Star Academy we have an integration of a variety of environments. For example, some children may attend school with their Star Academy Instructors for the morning and then come back to the Academy for one on-one ABA sessions during the day. Once the Star Academy supervisor has assessed your child, he/she will make a recommendation in respect to school hours vs one-on-one hours of instruction.
Important goals within school facilitation
- Generalisation is important and our main areas of focus are academics and social interaction. A school facilitator should ensure that targets are being generalised to different responses, stimuli and reinforcers.
- An effective school facilitator knows the child’s lessons and helps the child adjust accordingly to their needs and to the needs of their classroom.
- A school facilitator’s goal should be to facilitate a learning opportunity and then to fade out as quickly as possible, to ensure independence.
- Encourage independence by fading yourself out during: easy activities, more rewarding activities, lower the teacher to child ratio activities and during a preferred time of day.
- The manner that the facilitator presents themselves plays a big role in the child’s facilitation at school. It makes it easier to get the other children and teachers on board.
- A facilitator must track accurate data of the child’s activities whether it be academic or social. This data will then be fedback to the case supervisor who will be able to add new goals or master out current goals.
- It is important to put behaviour intervention plans in place at school to enable effective learning.
- When possible the facilitator will shift control from themselves to the teacher, this will ensure the child is paying attention to the teacher and learning from them and moving one step closer to the fading of the facilitator.
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