Including our students in the mainstream classroom is at the heart of The ANGEL Program. Inclusion is an effort to make sure students with disabilities go to school along with their friends and neighbors while also receiving the additional support they need to succeed as learners and to achieve high standards.
The typical daily interactions that occur in the classroom allow ANGEL students to form friendships, learn appropriate classroom behavior, increase independence, self-confidence, and their willingness to take academic risks.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the scientific approach to modifying or changing behavior. By using Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT) and Natural Environment Teaching (NET), the staff work with the students to teach new skills and help generalize skills already learned. We use the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) to assess our student's existing verbal and related skills.
ANGEL students learn and play along side their typical peers throughout the school day. Research overwhelmingly supports the benefits of inclusive classroom settings to both typically developing children and children with autism spectrum disorder.
We work with our students individually or in small groups during activities in which social skills are necessary (i.e., lunch, snack, recess, other special events). During individual sessions, we target goals from the VB-MAPP to increase appropriate social interactions and address or modify inappropriate social interactions. During small group sessions, we will pull one of our Angel students and 1-3 typical peers from their class to help lunch, snack, or play during recess. These group sessions focus on how our students interact with their peers.
Low Teacher Student Ratio
We try to maintain a low student-to-teacher ratio with no more than 4 Angel students per 1 Angel Staff.
The ultimate goal of the ANGEL Program is to increase the independence of each student in the typical classroom setting. Starting in preschool, we work on skills that will make them as independent as possible in the typical classroom setting.
Speech and Occupational Therapy Services
We do not currently have an occupational therapist or speech language pathologist on staff, however, we do allow outside Speech and OT therapists to come in to provide services during the school day. Our team collaborates with these therapists, teachers, support staff, and parents to ensure continual progress. Through the practice of various activities, such as brushing teeth or handwriting, we help promote skills for independence. Specific goals are set for each student.