The Family Child Learning Center (FCLC)’s Integrated Preschool for Children with Autism is a research and intervention preschool for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The program uses a developmental, social-pragmatic model for teaching children with ASD, which emphasizes enhancing children’s social communication skills through their interactions with others. The preschool also incorporates components from TEACCH and ABA philosophies into its program. Our classrooms use a combination of one-on-one, small group, large group, and free play activities to engage children in their environment and in learning activities. It is an adult-structured, child-directed classroom with an emphasis on functional communication, social reciprocity, play, and behavior.
The FCLC preschool recognizes the importance of parents in their child’s education and makes parent-teacher communication a key component of our program. Teachers regularly share pictures and narratives of the child’s classroom experiences through an individual blog created for each child. In addition, parents of children with ASD meet regularly with teachers to discuss strategies to address their child’s learning and behavioral needs in the home environment.
The FCLC is proud to be conducting state-of-the art research in its preschool. Current research efforts are examining the communication of children with ASD and typical peers (LENA). Our research has been presented at state and national conferences and published in reputable journals. Other components of our program, such as our use of technology, have been topics of many webinars and workshops.
Who’s in the Classroom
Ten children with ASD and 7 typical peers participate in the preschool each year. Children with ASD attend four half-days/week (Mon-Thurs, 9-12:30pm); typical peers attend 3 half-days/week (Mon-Wed, 9-11:30am). Classroom staff includes four teachers, a speech-language therapist, and graduate students from area universities. Lead teachers hold Master’s degrees and are licensed in Early Education and certified in Early Childhood Intervention. FCLC is registered as an Autism Spectrum Disorder Scholarship Provider.
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