How Stepping Stones Shining Stars program supports school readiness skills in young children
Schooling is an important part of a child’s life. It not only helps them achieve a well-rounded knowledge base, but it also helps them lead an enriching life. It is in school that a child develops important social and communication skills.
However, for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or other developmental delays, schooling can sometimes seem confusing if they are enrolled without preparation.
One size does not fit all: ASD in classrooms
In their formative years, children require personal attention at school. This is no different for a child with ASD. Parents and teachers have certain additional elements to consider as well. For instance, a child with ASD may not respond to surprises or changes very well. A fire drill, field trip, or a substitute teacher may seem like a very big change and cause anxiety in them. It is advisable to use specific techniques to ease them into such situations.
Also, children with ASD typically respond better to simple and short sentences with straightforward meaning. They are often literal-minded and may not easily comprehend abstract ideas or figurative language. So, when a teacher says, “pick up your pace” they may not understand that they are supposed to walk/run faster, and instead assume that the teacher is asking them to pick something up from the ground. Children with ASD are also sensitive to smells and textures.
Every child with ASD is unique and may require a different style of learning that is best suited for their needs. However, preparing them before they even begin school is a great way to kick start their academic journey.
We recommend that parents find a suitable child development program that can cater to the specific needs of their child and support school readiness skills. At Stepping Stones, we offer the Shining Stars Child Development Program that offers an excellent theme-based curriculum to each student’s specific areas of need that support such school readiness.
Shining Stars Child Development Program
Our Shining Stars Child Development Program is a 15-hour per week early intervention child classroom-based program. It is specially designed for children between the ages of 2 years and 5 years, with Autism Spectrum Disorders and/or other related areas of need.
In order to prepare the children for future school readiness, we have included group learning which will boost their confidence and support this important transition they are about to embark upon.
The Shining Stars’ curriculum is theme-based and modified to accommodate each student’s current abilities and individual areas of need. Its activities are structured and designed to be delivered in a language-rich environment. Its curriculum emphasises language and communication, cognitive skills, adaptive skills, social skills, and motor skills.
Shining Stars Child Development Program consists of the following elements:
A highly structured learning environment, with a 3:1 teaching ratio;
Classroom support will be provided by a Lead Teacher and Behavior Therapists (all of whom are Registered Behavior Technicians);
1 hour per week of Group Speech Therapy;
1 hour per week of Group Occupational Therapy; and
The program additionally offers: 1) ongoing evaluation and consultation with the Program Director and Behavior Consultant; 2) coordination and consultation with Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist, as needed; and 3) parent training opportunities.
Our focus is to help enhance your child’s social skills, pre-writing skills, language and communication/speech/oral motor skills, adaptive skills, etc. To learn more about how your child can benefit from this program, please check out our brochure or inquire within.