The school’s autism program was designed to meet the needs of students who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and have needs that demand resources beyond Elim’s cross-categorical program. This program requires an extremely high staff-to-student ratio in order to meet the specialized demands of a highly-structured program. Classrooms are broken down into elementary, middle school, and high school sections with each classroom having a certified special education teacher, an assistant teacher, and three or four paraeducators working with six or seven students.
Curriculum and Approach
Each student has an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) that focuses on preparing the student to live, work, and socialize within the community tailored to meet the specific needs of the student.
The autism program teaches a full curriculum that has been adapted from the Illinois State Learning Standards. The autism program places an emphasis on the following areas: communication, socialization, functional academics, vocational skills, play/leisure, structure, fine and gross motor, daily living, community, and behavior.
We utilize an eclectic approach of effective methods to provide educational services to all students. Structured teaching, developed from Division TEACCH at the University of North Carolina, allows autism program students to feel comfortable in a predictable environment that fosters functional independence. Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), including Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports and functional analysis, are used to teach specific skills and increase positive behavior.