The focus for every PLAN student is to gain independence with a variety of skills including daily living vocational skills, and functional academics such as reading, writing, and math.
The PLAN autism program prepares our students for adulthood, with the ultimate goal being suitable employment, independent living, and adult success.
In the PLAN program, a variety of teaching methods are utilized to promote student success, including Direct Instruction (DI) through SRA Programs (e.g., Corrective Reading, Corrective Math, Language for Learning), Active Student Responding (ASR), Precision Teaching (PT) to promote fluency and accuracy of skills, Structured Teaching, and independent practice of skills within supported environments.
Additionally, social skills are imbedded throughout the class day to support greater independence and appropriate interaction with peers and adults.
By implementing these teaching practices, we are using research-tested methodologies to teach students new skills, measure mastery on multiple planes, and teach students to work as independently as possible.
This method is used to increase students’ abilities to understand core academic concepts. This form of group work requires students to respond multiple times per minute during a group work session.
Increasing response times helps students maintain focus on the lesson and enhances retention of the material presented. For students who have minimal or emergent verbal skills, response cards are added to pair with the verbal response. This allows everyone to participate in classroom learning.
Furthermore, the use of Direct Instruction (DI) includes the explicit teaching of skill-sets, which are broken down into small units. This teaching method incorporates explicit modeling of skills, guided practice, immediate corrective feedback, and opportunities for independent practice.
Some examples of tool skills include letter and number identification, counting and correspondence, letter sounds and sight words, and fine motor skills. Filling in deficits to tool skills will help students master multi-step activities and more complex skills.
Additionally, mastery of these skills will help students build daily living and vocational skills to promote generalization outside of the classroom.
In Structured Teaching, work stations and environments are set up to guide students using only visual cues.
Not only do students master skills without staff prompts with Structured Teaching, they learn how to work independently, ask for help, recruit positive attention, and use a schedule. These skills carry over into home and later into work life.
During CBI, students learn the importance of community safety, transportation, financial budgeting, and consumer functions and needs.
As students learn to become more independent, they master basic skills for other environments including the home, work, and social places.