Children with Autism and Related Exceptionalities (CARE)
The program for Children with Autism and Related Exceptionalities (CARE) serves students with communication, sensory, and social differences that significantly impact their educational progression. The focus of the program is on customizing individual academic and behavioral interventions to bridge the gap between a student’s deficits and strengths by emphasizing a home-school collaborative approach. It is through this collaborative effort that students with communication, sensory, and social differences can learn the skills necessary to become productive citizens and independent in the areas of communication, social skills, leisure skills, self-help, and vocational skills.
Program components include highly structured, individualized programming, intensive communication and language training, social skills training, utilization of natural/inclusive environments for instruction, positive behavioral programming, and educationally-based sensory activities (as appropriate, determined by ARD committee). Additional services including speech/language therapy, music therapy, occupational therapy, in home training, parent training, and adaptive physical education may also be provided based on individual need and evaluation data.
Levels of Support and Service Delivery
Within the CARE program, a continuum of services is offered relative to the level of support the student needs to be successful in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The level of support necessary is based on individual student needs, considering evaluation data, present levels of academic and functional performance information, response to intervention data, classroom performance information, and the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team discussion. To address the diverse needs of the autism spectrum and maximize resources, various levels of support are offered.
CARE: Daily Skills (DS)
CARE DS is designed for students who are enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The focus of this level is to provide intensive, individualized support in the least restrictive environment (LRE) with an emphasis on functional communication and addressing significant social, behavioral, emotional, and sensory differences. More specifically, students who demonstrate a need for CARE DS may have moderate to severe cognitive/adaptive impairments and/or significant developmental delays, warranting a need a highly structured instructional program focused on functional communication, self-care, pre-academic, and prevocational skills to promote independence with daily living skills. These students primarily receive instruction based upon prerequisite skills of grade level content and IEP goals and objectives. In general, these students are included in the general education setting to address and generalize targeted social, functional, vocational, and adaptive skills to the maximum extent appropriate (as determined by the ARD committee). If warranted, it is possible that some of these students will have a current Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA) and a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) that is developed, implemented, and monitored through data collection.
CARE: Life Skills (LS)
CARE LS is designed for students who are enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The focus of this level is to provide intensive, individualized support in the least restrictive environment (LRE) with an emphasis on functional academics and addressing significant social, behavioral, emotional, and sensory differences. More specifically, students who demonstrate a need for CARE LS may have mild to moderate cognitive/adaptive impairments and/or moderate developmental delays, warranting a highly structured instructional program focused on functional academics and vocational skills to promote independence. These students primarily receive instruction based on modified grade level curriculum and IEP goals and objectives in a small group setting. In general, these students are included in the general education setting to address and generalize targeted academic and/or social skills to the maximum extent appropriate (as determined by the ARD committee). If warranted, it is possible that some of these students will have a current Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA) and a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) that is developed, implemented, and monitored through data collection.
CARE: Specialized Support (SS)
CARE SS is designed for students enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The focus of this level is to provide more intensive social and behavioral support while in the student’s least restrictive environment (LRE). Students who demonstrate a need for CARE SS may have cognitive/adaptive abilities that range from below average to above average and function at or slightly below (two grade level deviation) grade level. These students primarily receive instruction on grade level content in the general education setting, but often demonstrate a need for a highly structured instructional program focused on small group instruction to acquire, practice, or generalize social/behavioral skills and to reinforce/re-teach academic skills to promote independence.
Functional Skills (FS)
The Functional Skills (FS) program is a self-contained instructional setting that provides services to students ages 5 to 21 years of age who have been identified with a disability and demonstrate a need for Special Education supports and services to access the general curriculum.
The FS program is designed to serve students with mild to moderate intellectual disability with concurrent significant academic, social, and functional deficits. Deficits must be prevalent in all afore -mentioned areas and students must require training in self management skills to achieve the levels of performance necessary for functional or supported independent living. In addition to demonstrating cognitive, academic, social, and functional deficits, students who receive supports or services from the FS program may have physical disabilities of varying degrees, may use assistive devices or augmentative systems to communicate, and/or need considerable adult supervision and assistance to navigate a structured daily classroom routine.
The curriculum in the FS program is aligned with grade level TEKS but it is significantly modified based on student need as indicated in his/her IEP. In addition to components designed to increase the academic rigor in the classroom, the FS program also focuses on developing students’ functional, social, and vocational skills.
Social Emotional Achievement (SEA)
The Social Emotional Achievement (SEA) program is designed to meet the needs of students with emotional and behavioral disorders that require a highly structured educational setting to address the following areas:
- Teaching replacement behavior for inappropriate behavior patterns which interfere with student success
- Increasing pro-social behavior and decreasing disruptive behavior
- Increasing instructional time and academic achievement
- Increasing communication with parents and providing parental support
The SEA program serves students with emotional and behavioral disorders that significantly impact their educational progression. The SEA program provides instruction in a highly structured environment, focused on developing appropriate social and behavior management skills that will allow students to participate in the general educational setting. The students are included in less restrictive settings (i.e. in-class support, facilitated support, and general education school programs) as skills are developed. The students receive instruction in the general education curriculum in the SEA unit, unless otherwise stipulated by the ARD committee.
Program components include highly structured, individualized programming, goal setting and progress monitoring, therapeutic group meeting, processing of social and behavioral goals, social skills training, and inclusion with mainstream peers and activities when appropriate.
Special education teachers and paraprofessionals have access and are trained in a variety of research-based curricula. Curricula will be selected based on individual student need and Individual Education Plan (IEP) team discussion with consideration of curriculum being utilized in general education. Region 10 Education Service Center and GPISD Special Education Department provide teachers information and training on a variety of curricula that have been found to be effective for students with Emotional Behavioral Disorders. Continuous progress monitoring of individual goals and objectives guide educational and curricular decisions.
Our philosophy for working with students is based on the 12 Principles of Re-Ed by Dr. Nicholas Hobbs. Hobbs believed emotional health and academic success could be achieved side by side, that all students could thrive when given a safe environment with strong relationship focused support. The Circle of Courage guides our students and staff on a journey of internal self control and emotional well being.
Overwhelmed with gratitude as Kroger (I-20 Frontage Rd.) donates meat and fixings for the SEA BBQ Party.