Autism support classrooms are offered at St. Stephen’s for students in grades K-12 at our Zelienople and Utica sites. Our autism classrooms at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Academy provide a highly specialized environment where students with autism spectrum disorders can learn the skills that are necessary for a successful transition into adulthood. Students with autism thrive when education is creatively tailored to individual learning styles and the environment is responsive to sensory differences.
In addition to the universal interventions, our autism support education program provides:
- Implementation of Applied Behavior Analysis strategies
- Specially designed classrooms with an 8:2 student/staff ratio
- A program philosophy that emphasizes positive social skill development woven throughout the entire school day
- Consultation and trainings including on site supervision from Glade Run’s Director of Autism and Rebecca Klaw, a nationally recognized expert in the field of autism
- We employ a full-time social skills specialist, Angie Higby, to teach weekly lessons to the students in the classrooms
- Sensory exploration provided in a state-of-the-art sensory room designed to expose students to various sensory stimuli. Activities strengthen, balance and develop the central nervous system’s processing of sensory stimuli
- Gross motor room focusing on the strengthening of proprioception and vestibular skills through movement activities
- A model apartment with full kitchen and laundry facilities for experiential life learning as well as ongoing opportunities for students to assist with preparing small, social meals promoting skill development in activities of daily living
- A therapeutic animal program which integrates social skills, self-confidence, and responsibility
- A therapeutic horticulture program that is used for hands-on science and math activities as well as developing recreational, vocational, and job-related skills.