Classroom and student assignments are determined based on ability with age as a consideration so intensive instruction in the areas of academics, social skills, communication (functional and adaptive) and positive behavioral tactics are directly taught and reinforced.
The use of positive reinforcement is the tool regarded for behavior change and students are provided with a variety of strategies (visual, task-defined, video-modeling) to further improve self-awareness, monitoring and coping skills. Expectations are set high for all students and the success of the students is largely based on the confidence, autonomy, and self-potential they assume, as well as the staff’s constant analysis and reflection on the process of learning.
Based on the classroom/student needs, instruction is selected to enhance communication, fluency of responding, generality to other variables, and ensure students are following the Ohio State Standards or Ohio Extended Standards to lead to graduation with the potential to earn a high school diploma through Haugland Learning Center.
Examples of instructional materials and technologies used include: Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills, (ABLLS), Direct Instruction, introduction of and development of Precision Teaching, etc
. Overall student progress is frequently communicated to families and detailed, narrative Progress Reports and Grade Cards are provided throughout the school year.
An additional interactive instructional resource to be used for some students at the HLC Autism and Asperger’s School in Lancaster is Edgenuity®, which is aligned to Ohio’s State Standards. High School students can use this curriculum to receive additional credits and electives toward graduation and their high school diploma.
Additional coursework for students of the transition age (14 and above) is curriculum through the Ohio Department of Education’s transition program, OhioMeansJobs® which assists students in defining choices and opportunities for their future beyond the educational years.
Since HLC views positive reinforcement as the best tool for behavior change, each moment is considered a teachable moment to provide further preferred, replacement or alternate behaviors and responses.
Students have individualized reward systems where they work to earn self-selected reinforcers but through time, repetition and observed improvement; schedules of reinforcement and types of reinforcement are shaped to promote more natural life contingencies. Behaviors are pinpointed, clearly defined and are observed and measured. From this, the data guides the course of action resulting in positive behavior change and overall improved quality of life for the student and family.