“If they can’t learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn.”
– O. Ivar Lovaas
Imagine a place where every single person there believed that statement whole-heartedly; where the differences in the children were not just accepted but embraced. A place where children were free to be themselves, are taught to love themselves and encouraged to be better for themselves every single day. The Lighthouse Learning and Development Centre strives to be “that place” for all of our students, every single day.
Learning differences are just that: differences. Having a learning difference doesn’t mean you can’t learn, it means you learn differently. Imagine sitting in a classroom where everyone was speaking a foreign language and no one took the time to explain to you what was being said. Unfortunately, that is how most children with Autism feel in their classrooms.
Overcoming Learning Barriers
Children with Autism have unique barriers to learning, some of which include auditory processing impairments, attention difficulties, inability to generalize, trouble with task and event sequencing, problems with organization and planning, and difficulties with time and transitioning. These barriers require modifications to the mainstream curriculum to help ensure their success. However, modifications cannot be put in place until we learn how each individual child learns best. Not all children have the same barriers thus not every child will succeed with the same plan. Individual learning plans for children with Autism are essential in their learning journey. Without these plans, children will never be able to overcome the unique barriers they face.
A Safe Learning Environment
The Lighthouse Learning and Development Centre provides what every child with Autism truly needs: a safe, structured, dynamic environment that understands and embraces children with learning differences. Caring, understanding, welcoming and flexible staff look at each child as an individual, and create a program based on their unique barriers. Our evidence-based curriculum has proven to achieve results.
It is the goal of the Lighthouse Learning & Development Centre for our children to understand that while they may have unique barriers to learning, they also have strengths and abilities that make them shine and will allow them to be successful.
Modified School Curriculum with Direct Instruction
Our daily schedule offers frequent breaks, which allows for children’s continuous concentration throughout the day. Our “complete” program offers direct instruction, modified Canadian curriculum, art, music and daily movement, all structured to encourage our children to work through their barriers and be successful. Our program is designed to allow for our children to build friendships, accept and embrace social situations, enhance current skills while learning new ones, encourage teamwork and build self-confidence.
Helping Children with Autism Manage Anxiety
The Lighthouse Learning and Development Centre also understands that a large number of children with ASD also have severe anxiety. It isn’t uncommon for our children’s anxiety to be so debilitating that it prevents them from completing the simplest daily tasks. The Lighthouse Learning and Development Centre has developed a program that we run every day with our students. This program was designed to teach our children effective ways to manage their anxiety on a daily basis.