Early Childhood development

children-808664_1920Beginning the fall of 2016, JSA will be offering this new program which is intended to establish a small group learning environment for three and four-year-old children. This program will be led by a Behavior Specialist with early childhood development knowledge and understanding. Goals of this program will include teaching and generalizing early language skills, early social awareness and reciprocity, as well as toy play and small group instruction skills. This will be a half day program and students will have the option of half day 1:1 ABA therapy in addition to the program.

Half Day Classes

388x258_3Our half-day classroom program is designed for students to spend half of their
school day in a small group classroom setting and the other half in a 1:1 clinical ABA session designed to address specific skill deficits and behavioral issues that may interfere with learning. Each year, we have two to three classrooms utilizing this format. The number of classrooms is determined by enrollment and grade level.

These classrooms serve our challenged language learners. These students require activities that are geared around language and language acquisition. Our certified teachers and trained classroom support staff use a variety of visual supports, sign language, as well as, augmentative communication devices to ensure each child develops a functional mode of effective communication, thus reducing many of the maladaptive behaviors children often develop as a means of communication.

Many of the activities within this model are focused on following group instructions and learning to attend in group settings. The sociological aspects of a classroom are stressed to guide and support students into peer engagement and relationships. The classroom is rotated through both, whole and small group opportunities, and all activities are differentiated to meet individual student level and need.

Social Academic Classroom

JSA Social Group ClassroomOur full day classroom model is for children who are able to demonstrate
performance skills close to grade level of typical student expectations.
The goal of this classroom is to increase social thought and perspective, problem solving, cognitive flexibility, and executive functioning skills by providing explicit social skills training daily. Typically, these students have good social intent but need more intensive teaching and practice on how to navigate our social world. Many of the children in this group have high levels of anxiety along with sensory integration disorders, with little understanding of coping skills and self-regulation of mood, thoughts, and actions. Social Skills classes teach a range of topics, including social awareness, how to be in a group, conversation skills, social problem solving, emotional regulation, and play skills. After explicit training, social skills are practiced throughout the day including during academic lessons. The majority of instruction in this classroom is done through several Social Skills Curricula.

All core subject areas are taught as close to standard according to each child’s capabilities. Activities are differentiated to meet each student’s individual needs. 1:1 ABA support is offered as either a pull out and push in service. The amount of support needed per child is determined by the Educational/Treatment team and the parent. Students may receive as little as 2 hours per week and up to 15 hours per week of intensive ABA therapy.

The goal of this classroom specifically is to give these children the social strategies needed to self-regulate, build self-confidence, and fit in with the world around them more successfully. We would pride ourselves on transitioning these students to less restrictive school settings in the future. Currently, this is a single classroom serving grades 3 to 6. If enrollment warrants, we are looking to potentially add a K to 2 grade level classroom of this design.


prog_4Our vocational program is designed to provide young adults the skills necessary to be successful and productive members in both their home and community. Our goal to discover each student’s individual interest and tailor a program of learning opportunities that could lend itself to future employment opportunities. Each student has a core curriculum of life skills that are structured and taught to a level of independence. These skills are assessed and tracked through the The Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS), and cover the areas of Basic Living, Community Assessment and Home Assessment.

Currently, our vocational students have opportunities and responsibilities including the maintenance and development of a tower and raised bed garden, landscaping, office job skills, community partnerships, cooking and food preparation skills, as well as, project creation and product sales.

IMG_5343Additionally, all our students participate in on-the-job training opportunities at one or more of the following community partners: Maddio’s Pizza Joint, Publix, Tropical Smoothie, Lutheran Social Service, Longhorn Steakhouse and MShack.

1:1 ABA support is offered as either a pull out or push in service for students in this program. The amount needed per child is determined by the Educational/ Treatment team and the parent. Students may receive up to 15 hours per week of individualized ABA training and support within this program.