A review of studies showed that children with ASD are less school ready emotionally than their peers and those children with ASD appear to have more externalising behaviours and self-regulation difficulties that affect their school engagement and their relationships with their teachers. Repeatedly, it has been demonstrated that placement of children with developmental disabilities with typically developing children by itself has little impact on improving their cognitive or social development. Successful inclusion requires systematic preparation of the child as well as the receiving classroom. An important component to planning the children in to school setting is the identification of the skills and behaviours that are critical for the child’s success in that setting.
Our school-readiness programs offer structured small groups combining individual and group exercises. The primary goal of school-readiness programs is helping children to learn and practice the foundational skills needed within a school environment. ABA therapists work one-on-one with each child, implementing a treatment plan that is customized for his or her unique abilities and supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
The children gather to practice in a classroom-like environment and generalize their skills to new situations. Typical school activities such as lining up, sitting for show and tell, eating snack and following directions are practiced. Participation in groups also helps improve social skills such as taking turns, playing together, working in teams and sharing. Another valuable feature of school-readiness program is the opportunity to define a child’s most effective learning style. This information can be extremely helpful to parents, teachers and the team that is developing a child’s Individual Education Plan.