April 4, 2015
Elim's autism program strives to meet every student's individualized needs, including Ben's!
A fun-loving 12-year-old, Ben frequently uses his sharp sense of humor to delight Elim’s teachers, paraprofessionals, and therapists. A three-year member of Elim’s autism program family, Ben quickly built strong relationships with Elim’s staff.
His teacher, Laura Bennett, feels those loving relationships have been beneficial for his growth. “Ben is a student that needs to have a good relationship with staff in order to be successful and have a good day,” she says. “You can really tell how much Ben enjoys working with many of the staff members and how much they genuinely love working with him, too!”
During his years in Elim’s autism program, Ben has grown in communication and socialization skills as well as independence. This year, Ben is working hard to gain math skills and keep improving communication skills. Ben loves to try to “outsmart” his teachers, causing frequent laughter for everyone involved!
Ben’s parents have been thrilled to see him grow! “Elim provides a safe, loving, Christian environment for Ben. He enjoys going – there is no fight to get him out the door. His behavior problems have significantly decreased and his communication has improved. He is confident and much calmer. Elim provides Ben with a challenging yet loving place to learn not only academics but also daily living skills and social appropriateness.”
Elim’s autism program was designed to meet the needs of students who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Each child benefits from individualized goals, a high staff-to-student ratio, and a curriculum emphasizing communication, socialization, functional academics, vocational skills, play/leisure, structure, fine and gross motor skills, daily living skills, community integration, and behavior.
The curriculum in the autism program is based on Elim’s philosophy that all people, regardless of ability, are created in the image of God and have a contribution to make in our world. The program incorporates best practices from other organizations and leading autism research. Classrooms are broken down into elementary, middle school, and high school sections in order to provide optimal growth for each student.Currently, the autism program serves 78 children and families affected by autism.
Our staff works in partnership with students’ families in order to provide resources and training that stretches beyond the classroom. Since Ben began at Elim, his teachers, therapists, and parents worked together to provide similar programs at home and at school, in order to provide Ben with the consistency he needs to succeed.
Ben’s family has been so thankful for this partnership, saying, “Elim’s staff is wonderful and amazing. They are very collaborative. They go above and beyond every day. They love Ben and believe in him! They want him to succeed and are very proud of him. Ben can sense their attitude toward him and that is what makes him love Elim so much. He loves them all, too!”