Teachers and school administrators are often on the front lines when it comes to helping those with autism. As such, their training is a critical part of their overall approach to teaching children and young adults with autism.
These teachers must have the ability to handle a diverse array of situations and behaviors with effective responses and relevant learning strategies.
At Sarah Dooley, the staff is constantly learning the latest teaching techniques and strategies for modifying behaviors. They’re specially trained in a number of ways to help students with autism learn and grow.
Gaining Knowledge for Brighter Futures
Teaching people who are on the autism spectrum presents unique challenges. For teachers, this means having a good base of knowledge about autism is absolutely necessary.
The staff at Sarah Dooley understand this, and utilize a range of effective response techniques that have been created with a working understanding of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their different manifestations. This approach provides teachers the tools to:
- respond to crisis situations
- modify behavior through proven strategies
- give each student the specialized attention they need to thrive
The goal is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. One of the primary methods of establishing such an environment is the continuing education of personnel. Also essential is the integration of new therapies with trusted teaching methods to create a supportive, constructive environment.
Ongoing Educational Opportunities and Family Involvement
The staff at Sarah Dooley is focused on providing students with relevant educational opportunities that will help them reach their full potential. It’s widely understood how important it is to reach out to families. Teachers and other staff members are continually improving their approach to teaching and involving family members of students in their educational endeavors.
Building trust with the members of a student’s family is a primary goal for every staff member. This allows family relationships to evolve as the student moves forward with their education. An ever-evolving relationship is essential to helping students with autism get the most from school, regardless of the concepts or subject matter being covered.
Creating a Comprehensive Curriculum
Every student at Sarah Dooley is provided with an individual education plan (IEP), tailored to their individual strengths. Each student is offered the tools they need to excel, both academically and behaviorally.
Teachers work tirelessly to ensure that all materials are geared specifically to help each student meet the goals laid out in their IEP. No matter their needs, every student can achieve their true potential because Sarah Dooley provides a variety of curriculum options like:
- Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) – This curriculum focused on children with autism, as well as other language-related developmental delays.
- Eden Curriculum – Offering tools for assessment and intervention for a range of age groups, the Eden Curriculum offers continuing education options for teachers and a learning management system to assist with student development.
- Programs for helping students with autism learn about social interactions, including teen-focused and special needs options.
These curricula and several others are all known and used by Sarah Dooley teachers, who make a concerted effort to stay ahead of the curve on new course offerings and program options available to students with autism.
Going Above and Beyond for Education
The staff at Sarah Dooley has a vested interest in helping students achieve as much autonomy as possible. With extensive training that emphasizes the importance of independent functioning, the teachers help students become more self-reliant, whether at home, within the community, or in the work environment.
Providing more than just classroom instruction, Sarah Dooley teachers offer real-world experience and community skill-building for autistic students, giving them a strong base for independence and a fuller life.
Staff members at Sarah Dooley are specially trained in several types of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and teaching methods, including:
- Errorless learning
- NET (Natural Environment Training)
- DTT (Discrete Trial Training)
These methods of assessment and teaching allow data to be collected on a constant basis, giving teachers the information they need to improve the outcomes for each student.
Building Skills for Community Involvement
At Sarah Dooley, every teacher and staff member understands the importance of community involvement for those on the spectrum. Weekly outings are common and include destinations such as the state fair, the zoo, and even bowling alleys and other entertainment venues.
Every teacher is trained to handle these outings in an instructive, calm manner, giving each student the opportunity to test out newly-discovered skills and build confidence in social situations.
Resources for Success
The teachers at Sarah Dooley have the skills and training necessary to function effectively in special needs classrooms. Sarah Dooley is more than just a school; it’s a place for learning new life skills and building the confidence to become independent.
Learn more about the specific services that Sarah Dooley provides: