Programming for students with autistic spectrum disorders is specifically designed to meet the needs of each student at all levels of functioning. Emphasis is placed on the development of communication, self-help, daily living, functional academics and social interaction skills, as well as vocational competencies as appropriate. Each student’s program is individualized with instruction provided on a one-to-one basis and in small groups, using principles of applied behavioral analysis and systematic instruction, inclusive of discrete trial as appropriate. Sensory integration activities are also incorporated for each student as applicable.
Elementary School Classes
The elementary classes foster the overall development of the student in a structured, supportive learning environment. Each student’s program is highly individualized according to the student’s profile of strengths and areas of need. Specialized options include support for learning and language disabilities along with functional skills development. Curriculum is modified and instruction is differentiated with use of Wilson and Edmark Reading programs, as appropriate.
The middle/intermediate classes provide traditional as well as remedial and functional curricula, through a self-contained classroom model. When appropriate, students are also exposed to various pre-vocational and vocational experiences from career exploration to community job placement.
Functional Skills Classes
At each level, including high school, one or more functional skills classes exist to provide greater emphasis on practical daily life skills, functional academics and vocational competencies. Age-appropriate social skill development is also emphasized at all levels.
CCMC School’s vocational education curriculum encompasses a comprehensive instructional process that relies on real work as the focal point for career assessment (both interest and aptitude) and job exploration. We begin with preparation in the form of pre-vocational classes, job-shadowing, guest speakers and in-house cottage industries to assess readiness for more advanced programming. Opportunities are available for students to explore numerous occupations onsite and in the community, in conjunction with staff support. Our vocational classes are tailored to address the individual student’s cognitive/academic, developmental, motor and language functioning, as well as unique interests and career preferences.
Extended Year Programming
CCMC School summer programming runs for six weeks, from early July through the first week of August. An extension of the regular school year, the summer session continues to deliver mandated academic and therapeutic services, according to the student’s individual education program, for youth who would otherwise regress academically, emotionally and/or behaviorally.
STRIDE (Short-term Therapeutic Review, Intervention and Diagnostic Evaluation) is an eight-week diagnostic process for students ages five to 21. STRIDE provides local school districts with an opportunity to enroll students in a therapeutic environment on a short-term basis, for an intensive and comprehensive assessment of current academic, behavioral and emotional status. STRIDE also provides a structured four-week transition option for the student who immediately returns to the local school district. In keeping with the CCMC School philosophy, STRIDE emphasizes the importance of ongoing collaboration and communication between staff, parents/guardians and the local school district.