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Home » Autism »

Why We Chose a Developmental Model


All children move through stages of development. Depending on how their bodies and brains are maturing and what is going on around them, children move through these developmental stages at different rates. As parents, educators and therapists, our role is to help all children to continue to learn, grow and develop by identifying what they can do, what they need and how we can best help them.

How we successfully support children's growth and learning in our inclusive center:

  1. We work closely with each child’s family. A team of educators, therapists and family members work together to create a full picture of:
    • what this child can do (strengths)
    • what is difficult for this child (needs)
    • what helps this child learn
    • what makes learning and interacting with others difficult
    • what this child likes best
  2. We create a list of learning goals for the child. Based on each child’s strengths and needs, we set goals for skills just above what a child can do on his own. Teachers, therapists and family members work together to select goals for each child with autism and developmental delays.
  3. We identify and use strategies that will help the child learn.

    We discuss all the routines and activities that happen during the day, such as circle time or cooking, and when would be the best time to work on a child’s goals. We know that children learn best in places where they spend a lot of their time, such as the classroom or outside playground. We also know that they learn best with people they know well and trust. We plan so that there are many opportunities for children to play and communicate with familiar adults and peers while doing things they enjoy. We also use strategies to teach certain skills during classroom routines.

    Real Life Story: Read how Joseph became a member of the class and how we work on Joseph’s individual strengths and needs.

NEXT: How Team Planning and Cooperation Make Inclusion Work

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