Serendipity’s Communication Classrooms provides a consistent multi-disciplinary approach to best support the unique needs of student who have significant communications and sensory needs. The classroom is part of Serendipity’s Therapeutic School Program because its model is an integration of special education and mental health treatment. Our students’ progress is continuously monitored to ensure our interventions are facilitating student growth.
The Communication Classrooms are richly staffed with a full-time licensed teacher, a program assistant, and a staff to student ratio at or near 1:1. All students served in these classrooms receive the support of an individual Skills Trainer, unless we are gradually reducing this support as a step towards transitioning. Every student is also assigned a masters-level clinical case manager to conduct mental health assessments, monitor treatment goals, coordinate service providers, and respond to crises as needed. Medication is administered by a Certified Medication Assistant. Serendipity’s Special Education Coordinators assist with IEP development and assessment. We have a full-time Speech Language Pathologist who is highly involved in the execution of curriculum design and classroom strategies.
Curriculum in the Communications Classroom is geared to language acquisition, social skills, individual academic progress and self-regulation.
The curriculum includes:
- Individualized instruction using the STAR program, a highly researched and successful curriculum widely used with students on the Autism Spectrum. Components of the STAR program include Pivotal Response Training (PRT), Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and the teaching of Functional Routines (FR).
- Play and Social Interaction Concepts curriculum
- Visual Schedules
- System 44
- Equals Math
- IXL Math
- IXL Reading
- Unique Learning System
- Students have access to a variety of sensory items and strategies including sensory balls (in various shapes, weights, and textures; tactile objects; breathing techniques; deep pressure stimulation and compression; weighted vests and blankets; mini-trampoline; stretch bands; body socks; scooters; swing; tunnel; bubbles; and “sit and bounce” balls. There are daily scheduled sensory skills practice times.
- Access to consultation with Autism Specialists from Columbia Regional
- A focus on functional life skills, basic social skills, self-regulation, pre-vocational skills, and community preparedness, including hands-on experience in community settings to apply new skills for our Upper School Communication Classroom students.