Easter Seals provides therapy services in inclusive classroom settings at local schools and at a variety of schools and classrooms specially-designed for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). With Easter Seals, learning doesn't end when school is finished. Easter Seals provides social activities, evenings out, overnight and day camps and other recreational activities after school and during school breaks too.
Easter Seals professionals at early intervention programs and inclusive day care centers can help parents decide which learning environment is best for their child with ASD who is starting regular school. Model programs serving children with ASD follow these guidelines (Source: The National Research Council):
Many different intervention strategies are used to educate individuals with autism. The “big three” are the most commonly used methodologies:
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). An applied behavior analytic program includes an individual assessment to determine the skills that a student with ASD does -- and does not -- have. Skills are then broken down into small steps and taught systematically. The goal is to help each student develop skills that will enable him or her to be as independent and successful as possible.
Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-Based (DIR). The DIR/Floortime approach focuses on helping children master the building blocks of relating, communicating and thinking.
The Education of ASD and Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH). The TEACCH system emphasizes structure by organizing the physical environment. TEACCH uses visual cues, schedules and work systems to help make expectations clear to students with autism.
Communication and socialization are two of the core challenges for students with ASD. A student with ASD can learn to use symbols, aids, strategies, and techniques to enhance communication. Easter Seals can provide a treatment plan combining some or all of the following therapies:
School-aged children with ASD can be active participants in all areas of community life, including social and recreational activities. Easter Seals programs offer weekend respite, evenings out and other opportunities to participate in recreational activities throughout the year.
Easter Seals expertise provides a variety of diverse training techniques to help school-aged kids with ASD learn to recognize social cues and communicate with their family members and in social situations. As with other treatments, this training will vary depending on the individual need.
With more than 100 camping, recreation and respite programs, Easter Seals offers thousands of children and teens with ASD the chance to develop lasting friendships and learn what they can do. Participants enjoy adventures and conquer new physical challenges through inclusive camping and community-based after-school and recreation programs. Some camps also offer sessions exclusively for campers living with ASD.
Most experts recommend that students with ASD begin planning for transition to the world of work in junior high school or earlier. Working with school-to-work programs, Easter Seals helps young adults with ASD develop career skills that are clear and measurable.