Autism Program

Autism Schools NJ

IMG_1581computerThe Deron programs focus on developing skills for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, to maximize their independence and community inclusion. Acquiring these critical social and communication skills promotes safety and expands the students’ opportunities.  The following areas are addressed, along with functional academics and recreational skills:

  • Social interaction skills
    • Recognizing “personal space”
    • Using appropriate conversational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Asking for preferred items and activities appropriately
  • Asking for help
  • Asking for a “break” from work
  • Understanding idiomatic expressions (e.g. “a piece of cake” means “easy”)
  • Expanding interests and appropriate behavior
    • Introducing and encouraging engagement with a wider range of activities
    • Tolerating transitions, new things and changes in familiar routines / experiences
    • Encouraging use of different statements as opposed to use of repetitive language

The following criteria are considered in determining a student’s program:

  • Current skill levels
  • Behavior of a typically developing child (e.g. what a child of similar age would say and do in the same situation)
  • Student preferences gathered through assessments, observation and inquiries of the child and family (to be incorporated into teaching materials, targets, leisure skills, work placement and/or motivation systems)
  • The family’s vision for the student’s future
  • The likelihood of the student’s behavior being supported in environments other than autism schools NJ (home, community settings, etc.)

Teaching Strategies are individualized and may include:

  • Providing multiple opportunities to practice skills
  • Breaking down complex skills into small steps, teaching step by step (e.g., preparing a snack)
  • Using visual schedules (pictures and/or words)
  • Teaching and encouraging choice-making
  • Providing clear instructions regarding expected behavior
  • Reinforcing appropriate and independent behavior
  • Not reinforcing inappropriate and prompted behavior
  • Teaching discriminations
  • Working on quicker responses, not just accuracy, to make a skill truly practical (e.g., when buttoning a shirt)
  • Assessing and, if needed, working on generalizing skills to occur in multiple settings, with a variety of people and materials
  • Practicing social skills through role-playing activities
  • Viewing & discussing videotaped examples of appropriate vs. inappropriate behavior
  • Teaching students to self-manage (discriminate, monitor, reinforce their own behavior)
  • Adjusting teaching procedures as needed for measurable / successful results
  • Either removing temporary help for the child to complete certain skills or planning for assists that can remain with the child