Autism and ASD Services
Many families are affected by autism as 1 in 45 children, nationwide, is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As a spectrum, ASD encompasses a wide range of behaviors and abilities. Because the scope of symptoms that define ASD are unique to every person, every child diagnosed with ASD requires an equally unique approach to their support and learning environment! Spero hosts an experienced team of related service providers and licensed special educators who can help your child reach their full potential!
Our ASD Services
The breadth and scope of ASD traits are as vast as the ASD community itself. That's why Spero Academy applies best practices in every aspect of its programming for students diagnosed with ASD. We offer individualized learning and a multidisciplinary approach for students with ASD and other disabilities. Spero Academy provides in-school occupational therapy, speech therapy, developmental adapted physical education (DAPE), a structured teaching program, music therapy, and physical therapy. Spero Academy is well equipped for in-class, pull-out, group or individual services as determined in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Meet Spero’s Team
Our experienced staff understands that each child needs a personalized learning plan to meet the challenges of ASD across a myriad of abilities and capacities:
Children affected by communication challenges have difficulties communicating with their families and community. Some experience language delays, while others may experience language processing challenges. Sometimes, communication concerns can affect other development processes, such as learning to play, read, write, or problem solve. Our Speech-Language Pathologists utilize a multidisciplinary approach to address the needs of our students, including individualized and push-in models of service to support the development of articulation, language skills, social skills, problem solving skills, and functional life skills. Our Speech-Language Pathologists also oversee the School-wide Technology and Augmentative Communication for Kids (STACK) program, which teaches students who are functionally non-verbal or those with limited verbal skills to utilize iPads for communication.
Social Skills Concerns
Appropriate social skills are the foundation of a happy life, so we work hard to help each of our students engage in the art of social interaction. Some children may not be able to look their peers in the eye, while others struggle to 'read' the emotional state of those around them or in themselves. Some are uncomfortable in large groups, while others have trouble recognizing the personal boundaries. Spero Academy utilizes the Social Thinking® curriculum to support the development of social skills. This approach ensures that every staff member is using the same vocabulary to allow students’ skills to be reinforced no matter where they are. In addition, our Speech-Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists teach a social skills once a week and regulation group once a week to support the development of functional and life skills for all students.
Many children with ASD exhibit focused demonstrations of interests, behaviors, or subjects, often to the exclusion of other opportunities. Other children are rigid in their schedules, menus, or wardrobes, while still others have extraordinary memory capacities but struggle to accomplish more functional tasks. Spero Academy utilizes a Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) system to establish the social culture and support individualized behavioral supports needed for our school community to be an effective learning environment for all students. Positive behavioral interventions and supports at Spero Academy include interventions and strategies to improve the school environment and teach children the skills to behave appropriately.
Spero Academy’s support staff provide additional services and resources for families uniquely integrated with students’ educational experience as compared to other schools in Minnesota.
- Our social worker assists students and their families with identifying and accessing available services for their specific needs both in the community and within the school. Learn more about our social work services HERE.
- Our health services staff provide first aid, dispense medications, and manage health plans for students with those needs. Learn more about our health services HERE.
- Our DAPE teachers work with students on object control and locomotor movements to help propel them toward grade level skills. Learn more about DAPE HERE.
- Our music therapist identifies the strengths and needs of each student to develop a therapeutic relationship that addresses physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of students. Learn more about our music therapy program HERE.
- Our Achieve program emphasizes independent task completion through structured, repetitive curriculum. The program focus is to support independence in order to raise self confidence and provide successful opportunities for students that will carry over to a less restrictive environment. Learn more about the Achieve program HERE.
Best Practices for All Students
Spero offers an individualized range of services for children grades K-6 designed to support students diagnosed with ASD and other disabilities. We have numerous resources to support our students and can't wait to share them with you and your child. At Spero Academy, we strive to provide a supportive and adaptive education for every student!