Applied Behavior Analysis
AYM’s core of the educational model is the science and application of the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Teaching as ABA is a strategic and scientific educational model in which all instruction used by teachers is based on scientific evidence (i.e., research tested). In this approach, scientific procedures are used to design appropriate educational programs for students and also to train teachers to become effective educators.
At AYM, we put students first and we believe that education works best when each student’s program is designed based upon his/her unique learning style, abilities, and interest using the principles of ABA. Evidence-based learning strategies are implemented based on each student’s instructional history, academic readiness, and areas of specific needs. Our goal is to bridge any academic and/or developmental gaps that students may have to achieve successful integration and participation.
Integration and Participation
AYM is dedicated to supporting students for successful inclusion in society. All parents want their children to be accepted by their peers, have friends, and live “regular” lives. AYM believes that increased exposures to typical classroom structure, curriculum, and social activities in inclusive settings can make this vision a reality for many students on the autism spectrum. AYM’s Social Integration Partnership Programs strive to ease students’ integration and participation in inclusive settings, develop a positive understanding in the “real world”, create lasting friendships, and improve social skills.
BCBA® Led Evidence-Based Curriculum
Academy for Young Minds (AYM) holds high expectations for all our students by holding ourselves accountable and providing rigorous curriculum led by Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®). To provide positive direction and goals for interventions, AYM aligns each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This is to make the content standards obtainable and individualized for the students so that we can help them bridge the gap. AYM’s data driven educational team is committed to monitor students’ progress daily and inform instruction to ensure success and generalization of skills.
AYM provides instruction on English Language Art (ELA), Math, Social Studies, Science, and Adapted Physical Education (APE). AYM’s academic curriculum focuses on building foundational skills on reading, writing, and mathematics, to bridge any gaps that students may have.
Mastery to Fluency Training
AYM believes that students need to have fluent pre-requisite skills in order to acquire advanced academic and daily living skills, faster and more successfully. Following the mastery of each lesson, students are presented with multiple opportunities to practice their learned skills until they become fluent or automatic. Our goal is to ensure that students can acquire fluency in all skills taught and perform them quickly and effortlessly with accuracy. In this teaching approach, AYM ensures the maintenance and application of the taught skills to learn self-monitoring, self-management, and organizational skills.
AYM values professionals working together and sharing different areas of expertise in the field of education. We provide Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Counseling services while incorporating Social Skills training using a behavioral approach.
Therapeutic sessions are provided in various settings including 1:1 therapy room, sensory gym, and classroom. In this multi-disciplinary approach, we improve students’ communication, socialization, academic competency, and other daily living skills. AYM is committed to promoting curiosity and increased learning opportunities for all students in many different ways using multi-disciplinary approach.
AYM is sensitive to each student’s sensory challenges and we strive to support and improve their sensory needs. Whether it may be due to the internal imbalances or the environmental sensations, sensory challenges can affect students’ ability to maximize their learning opportunities and participate in lessons and activities including social interactions with others. Thus, AYM provides various sensory integration programs (in collaboration with Occupational Therapists) in our new multi-sensory environment where each student has the opportunities to improve and expand their sensory repertoires.
Brain Power Wellness Education
AYM provides an innovative educational program, Brain Power Wellness (BPW) Education, to support students to improve their learning efficiency, behavior management skills, and social repertoires. The results of BPW Education studies have shown the following positive outcomes: (1) Study Skills: Improved focus, attention, and memory; (2) Self-Regulation Skills: Enhanced motivation, creativity, confidence, anxiety, and behavior management skills; and (3) Social Interaction Skills: Improved peer-relationships and language. AYM provides the BPW Education training to students, staff, and families to empower the positive school culture and promote physical and mental health. Please check the official BPW Education website for more detailed information.
Sensory Diet Plan
AYM provides supports for each student’s unique set of sensory needs. If a student presents or is suspected of having sensory integration issues, a qualified and trained occupational therapist will evaluate his/her needs to develop a strong Sensory Diet Plan. A Sensory Diet Plan is a fun, play-based, personalized activity plan that provides the sensory input that each student needs to stay focused and organized throughout the day. The school team will be trained to implement the Sensory Diet Plan and integrate the plan throughout the school day.
The educational program at AYM strives to incorporate all aspects of human development: Intellectual, Social, Physical, Aesthetic, and Moral. AYM values helping students to develop a strong sense of themselves as individuals and also as members of a community and increase curiosity about the world and interest in others. AYM is dedicated to achieving this vision by partnering with families, schools, universities, communities, and professionals.
AYM believes that fostering partnerships among schools and families plays a critical role in supporting the learning and development of the students with autism.AYM values family involvements in school activities and student’s educational plans. We believe that students are more successful when there is a consistency and continuity of the programs across home and school settings.
Some of our Family Partnership Programs include:
- Parent Education: AYM provides Parent Education training monthly and as needed/requested on various topics to support families with children with autism.
- Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Group: AYM encourages families to participate in various school activities as part of the PTA member and/or family member.
- Siblings Relationship Group: AYM understands that siblings of children with autism have unique challenges and are more likely to be asked to manage their own feelings and needs.
Expectations placed on siblings may vary, but parents may have more expectations towards the siblings of children with autism and ask them to take on more household tasks. Their voluntary or involuntary responsibilities may only increase as they enter adulthood. Thus, AYM believes that it is important to give “attention” to the siblings and support them socially and/or emotionally.
AYM provides Siblings Relationship Group program and strives to provide a sense of comfort in knowing that they are not alone, offer them opportunities to talk about difficulties and challenging experiences, guide them on how to address some of the challenges, help them increase their understanding in autism, and also teach them appropriate, practical coping strategies using a behavioral approach
AYM believes that fostering community partnerships is important in linking students’ achievement and successful generalization of the skills. At AYM, students are encouraged to participate in various community outings and field trips to expand their experiences at AYM in more inclusive settings and acquire advanced social repertoires in real world.
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