Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism, sometimes known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), fits within the umbrella-term Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) which affects children at an early age. It is characterized by qualitative distortions in the child's development of communication, social skills, and repetitive/stereotypical behavior.
Our special education certified teachers approach each child as a unique individual and design an individualized curriculum to meet his or her needs. While the learning goals are set annually for children in their Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs), the universal goals for students are to increase independence, increase comfort in social interaction, and promote language and functional literacy.
The students in the Autistic classes participate in many specialty classes at Green Tree School & Services. Certified instructors and/or master level therapists provide all these classes or therapy sessions. They include:
- Music Therapy
- Movement Therapy
- Individual Counseling
- Art Instruction
- Vocational Arts
- Speech Therapy
- Physical Education
- Life Skills Instruction
Students in the Autistic class participate in regular activities in the community, such as: walks in neighborhood, hiking in the woods, trips to a restaurant for lunch, shopping trips, swimming, sight-seeing, and bowling. The ages and interests of the students determine these activities. We strive to prepare our students to complete their high school program prepared to take their place in adult society to the greatest extent possible.
As we learn to successfully incorporate best teaching practices into our Autism curriculum, the Green Tree array of services will continue to grow. Plans include to increase opportunities for inclusion in both educational and recreational activities. We hope to grow and develop our parents support program, with our parents and faculty sharing their expertise in the field of Autism treatment.
The Green Tree School & Services program for students with Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder is open to any child or young adult between the ages of 6-21. To become eligible for the program students must be diagnosed and referred to Green Tree School & Services by their local school district. Local school district and the state department of education share tuition costs. Transportation is provided by Green Tree School & Services or the local school district.
Research and Training
There is a growing field of medical and educational research about how best to diagnose, treat, and educate persons with Autism. Green Tree recognizes the need to keep up with changes and the understanding of the disorder. Our teachers meet at least six times a year for instruction on dealing with Autism. Parents of the children also need training so that they can help to develop their child's independent skills. To meet this need, we offer support groups (the last Thursday night of every month) and educational workshops that are specific to the needs of families with a child who suffers from Autism.