Our Evidence-Based Practices
Functional Behaviour Assessments
When working with students in a classroom environment where they are constantly being challenged academically, it is common for problem behaviours to arise. In order to correct problem behaviour we must first determine the environmental function. We use evidence based assessments such as indirect interviewing, descriptive assessments, and in some cases, functional analysis to determine why a student may be exhibiting a challenging behaviour. Once an accurate hypothesis has been developed, treatment plans can be created to help the student get back on track in the classroom environment.
At the Lighthouse, we derive behavioural treatment from results of functional behaviour assessments. Treatment for problem behaviours must relate directly to why the child is doing what they are doing in order for it to be effective. In our classroom environment we are able to implement behavioural interventions naturally throughout the day as teachers and instructor therapists work collaboratively collect data and provide treatment integrity.
Preventative Antecedent Strategies
In order to avoid the development of problem behaviours in the first place our team at The Lighthouse uses antecedent strategies, which minimize problem behaviours in the classroom. Reinforcement schedules and group contingency rewards encourage our students to works hard through out the day without behaviours. If a student understands how exhibiting appropriate behaviour can benefit them throughout the day (praise from teachers, tokens to earn reinforcement, and group prizes) they will be more likely show positive behaviour and be able focus on academic goals.
Some of the direct instruction programs used at Lighthouse include Reasoning & Writing, Connecting Math Concepts, and Spelling & Reading Mastery. These programs compliment material from The Ontario Curriculum and help our students to access its material in a way that they understand.
As many students with autism suffer from anxiety at some levelThe Lighthouse has incorporated anxiety programs into our daily teachings. These programs include 5-Point scales, Zones of Regulation and Super-Flex. These programs help students to recognize their own anxiety and give them tools to help manage it.
Consistent Daily schedules
At the Lighthouse we understand that the world around children with Autism can appear very chaotic and unpredictable. In many cases, children with Autism have very little control over their environment; one of the best ways to foster a positive learning environment is to allow our children the opportunity to process their schedule, which remains fairly consistent throughout the week. Communicating the schedule to our students is be done by using visual schedules, electronic program on a device such as an iPad, or simply by writing it on the board for students who can read. Providing the children an opportunity to review their schedule allows them to be prepared for their day, and process the transitions that will occur.
Academic Programs & The Ontario Curriculum
All of our teachers at The Lighthouse create short-term and long-term academic goals based on the level a student is at according to The Ontario Curriculum, in any given subject. This means that although a student may be reading at a grade 2 level, they could be working on grade 6 math, and each lesson would be planned for accordingly. Other academic programs we use to support goals from The Ontario Curriculum include Raz-Kids, JUMP Math, and Writing Without Tears.
The Lighthouse also understands the importance of incorporating the arts into our daily teaching methods. At our school for autism, we use drama, dance, music, and visual arts as a catalyst to teach other curriculum subjects. Additionally, each spring, The Lighthouse creates and preforms an original spring play for parents and other members of the community.
This program was developed for students to prepare them to access a small group setting, targeting the development of classroom readiness and group instruction skills. Many students who attend Primary Prep also receive ABA therapy at the Lighthouse. Lessons are developed across all areas (art, science, literacy, numeracy, music, social skills, life skills, direct instruction, daily physical activity) to prepare children for the Primary class. Enrollment is dependent on meeting the following skills (behaviour, communication, reinforcers, independent work, receptive language, imitation, play/social, self help), students must also be toilet trained in order to join this program.
Primary Prep Oaks
This class strives to incorporate the functions of communication for Proloquo2go expressive language targets. Each lesson is devised around contriving as many exchanges for the students on their devices between their teachers and peers.
Full days, 5 days a week.
This program has been developed for those students who are classroom ready and working at an academic level between kindergarten and grade 3, in any given subject, according to The Ontario Curriculum. Lessons and programs are created to help students develop reading, writing, and mathematic skills, which prepare students to access material in higher grades, as well as various other subjects like science and social studies.
This program runs Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm
Full days, 5 days a week.
This program has been developed for those students who are classroom ready and working at various academic levels between grades 3-6, in any given subject, according to The Ontario Curriculum. Lessons and programs are created to help develop skills across all areas of the curriculum (math, language, social studies, science, the arts, and physical education) as well as to increase independence in the classroom.
This program runs Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.
Full days, 5 days a week.
This program has been developed for those students who are classroom ready and working at an academic level between grade 7 and grade 8, in any given subject, according to The Ontario Curriculum. Lessons and programs are created to help further hone skills across all areas of curriculum (math, language, history, geography, science, the arts and physical education) to help prepare students for high school. There is an emphasis on developing executive functioning skills that will help prepare students for greater independence in the classroom.
This program runs Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:30 PM.