P.A.T.H. Philosophy:

(Parents and Teachers Hand-in-hand)

Applied Behavior Analysis (A.B.A.) is the only methodology endorsed by the Surgeon General for the treatment of Autism. Therefore A.B.A. will be used in teaching our children as opposed to the popular eclectic approach which has demonstrated little to no gains and sometimes regression in students of this population (Jacobson, et al. 2005). Verbal Behavior and errorless teaching methods will be used unless contraindicated by the student's learning style.

In collaboration with parents, PATH has developed an innovative program to accommodate the individual needs of each student. Each aspect of the program represents a continuum of services and environment from the most restrictive to transition to a regular education classroom. The Verbal Behavior approach of manding will be used in speech and communication training.

Curriculum includes: Edmark, Touchmath, Saxon, A Beka, Touchphonics, Progressive Phonics, Earobics, Wilson Reading, ABLLS-R & VB-MAPP News-2-you, Science, History, Health, Life Skills/ADLs, Teach Me Language, Handwriting Without Tears, Personal Safety, Functional Skills, Social Skills/Social Narratives, Technology & Keyboarding.

Natural Environment Teaching (NET) will be employed to assure generalization and functionality of skills. Research indicates the importance of appropriate play skills on learning for children in this age bracket. For this reason, time for toy play is scheduled. This is not time when the student is allowed "free play" or allowed to "stim" and play with toys inappropriately. This is a structured time to teach functional toy and pretend play (the primary methodology of learning in children under the age of three).

Habit training and potty training is emphasized in activities of daily living. Self-help, social, motor and cognitive skills including learning readiness skills and pre-academics will be emphasized. Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) will be employed for development of fine motor skills as well as OT exercises designed specifically to assist in the development of musculature that promotes good handwriting. Art and Music times will be used to promote normalized student activity, speech, fine motor skills, visual discrimination and imitation. Art, Music and other hands-on experiences are utilized as recommended by Dr. Temple Grandin.

Specials include: Music Therapy once per month, Art Therapy once per month and Autism Movement Therapy twice per week. All Therapies are completed by licensed/certified therapists.

The PATH Academy believes that community outings provide learning experiences as well as providing opportunities to practice skills in a functional setting and ensure for generalization. Field trips will always be carefully planned and necessary arrangements will be made for the safety of students.

Staff training and development is emphasized. We recognize and support ongoing training in research-based educational practices with measurable positive outcomes. Positive behavior support plans will be developed and utilized. High staff-to-student ratios, and high rates of student engagement will be employed. All staff are trained and certified in CPR/First Aid as well as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention; they must pass a criminal background check throughout the nation (BCI-Bureau of Criminal Investigation), as well as the Nurse's aide registration and the Abuser Registry of Ohio's Board of Developmental Disabilities (DD).

For more information contact Bonnie Kimpling-Kelly, Program Director at (419)633-0068 or use the contact link.