Children’s Workshop provides a special education and therapy program for up to 60 students, aged 3-12, with severe communication, learning, social, and behavior problems associated with autism and other developmental disorders.
School is in session for 210 days on a traditional calendar, typically starting the day after Labor Day each year. Our school day is from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday.
Because our students require precise, specific instruction with many 1:1 opportunities in order to learn new skills, Children’s Workshop is a highly structured Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Direct Instruction (DI) program. Each day, we provide many dozens of discrete-trial and incidental learning opportunities for our students. We emphasize positive reinforcement for desired student behaviors, so our students become eager learners.
“Session skills” are essential to being a learner
New students at Children’s Workshop nearly always need to acquire what we refer to as “session skills.” Without quality session skills, it is extraordinarily difficult to teach the full range of skills our students need at an acceptable rate. So, for example, we teach them to sit in a chair, orient to the teacher, place their hands and feet appropriately, and respond appropriately to teacher instructions.
Communication is a common emphasis of instruction
Critical for nearly all of our students is developing functional communication. Many of our new students have little or no systematic, functional communication. We teach these skills in the modality that best suits the student. Communicating wants and needs is likely to be our starting point, because the student’s efforts can be reinforced in the way that is most valuable at the moment.
A love for learning is our overriding goal
Our foremost goal is for Children’s Workshop students to develop a love of learning and to acquire the necessary skills so that they can benefit from education in more typical and less restrictive settings.
Our team includes credentialed special educators and their assistants, a Speech/Language Therapist and assistant, and an Occupational Therapist, and is led by two Program Coordinators and a Director. Several of our professionals are also Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs).