Educational Tools and Methodologies

At ELG we believe the best learning comes through best practices. We use methodologies that are supported by research and experience. We aim to help students become self-regulated learners by giving them the tools they need to reach their potential.

We have created a structured, safe environment which incorporates program-wide theme-based learning and positive behavior support with a low student-teacher ratio.

When appropriate, we help children enter into mainstream environments through a careful transition process.

“Every day the program leader sends a report about my son’s class and how the therapy session went, as well as non-academic information, such as whether or not he ate lunch. Also, there is a description of activities they did in class, so I can replicate them at home, which is a big help.”

– Lucy, ELG Parent

Therapeutic Interventions

Our full-time programs include needs-based therapeutic sessions, to work on specific goals with highly trained specialists. Therapists and special educators constantly communicate so that therapeutic goals are repeated and reinforced throughout the day, not just in sporadic, individual sessions.

Our in-house therapies include:

Our Methodologies

We utilize a wide variety of programs and methodologies, so we are able to match our methods to individual needs. Through our multi-disciplinary approach we strive to find the best approach for each individual.

The following is a partial list of educational tools and techniques that we use.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) – ABA is a process that consists of systematically applying interventions based on the principals of learning theory (for example positive reinforcement). It begins with observation of the child’s behavior and how his/her environment affects it, and uses tools such as chaining, prompting, and fading to result in meaningful improvements or modifications to behavior over time.

Alternative Assistive Communication (AAC) – AAC includes various communication methods that can be used to supplement speech or writing for those with speech or communication difficulties. They can be aided (such as pictutre communication) or un-aided (such as hand gestures). These communication techniques can help children and older individuals express themselves, to increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth.

Edmark Sight Reading Series – The Edmark Sight Reading Series is a reading program designed for learners who have not yet mastered beginning reading. It uses a carefully sequenced, highly repetitive word recognition method, which gives students reading confidence and helps them view themselves as readers.

Orton-Gillingham Method – The Orton-Gillingham Method to reading instruction is a language-based, flexible approach to reading. It uses a multi-sensory method, including colors and actions, to allow the child to build a strong memory associated with each word or letter.

EmPOWER – EmPOWER is a six-step systematic method for teaching students academic writing. With EmPOWER, students talk themselves through the steps of the writing process and, within each step, use proven strategies to problem-solve. Students can use this method for any writing assignment, in any grade level or subject area.

Keyboarding Without Tears – Keyboarding Without Tears is a software for computers and iPads that helps children learn to type in a fun and easy way. The software breaks the keyboard down into smaller color-coded sections, making it easier to find and remember the right letter. Interactive games and activities also make learning more exciting and fun.

Early Start Denver Model for Young Children (ESDM) – ESDM is an play-based early intervention approach for children with autism, aged 1 to 4 years. It can be implemented both at home and in the clinic by trained therapists as well as parents. ESDM utilizes play and parental involvement to increase children’s interest in other people and activities. By continuous observation and setting goals specific to each child, it aims to develop communication and self-expression skills.

Pivotal Response Training (PRT) – PRT is a behavioral intervention therapy for autism, which is play-based and often child-initiated. The child chooses the activities and objects that he/she wants to use. Rather than target individual behaviors, PRT targets “pivotal” areas of a child’s development, including motivation, self-management, and the initiation of social interactions. It is based on ABA and emphasizes natural reinforcement for behaviors.

DIR Floor Time – The DIR model is a developmental model for assessing and understanding a child’s strengths and weaknesses. It is used with children who have autism or other developmental disorders. It focuses on early developmental milestones that are reached sequentially, and allows an individualized approach to help every child acheive them. The DIR approach is child-lead, with the therapist following the child’s lead and building on his/her interests.

Touch Math – Touch Math includes are wide range of resources such as number cards and activities to help children learn math. They can be used in a classroom or at home, alone or with others. The activities are designed to be both fun and educational, so that students remain interested in learning.

Mathletics – Mathletics is a website designed for students to learn and improve their math skills. It can be used by students of all ages and abilities, on any computer with internet access. With fun and competitive activities, students are motivated to practice and improve, progressing in difficulty as they become confident with the material

Handwriting Without Tears – Handwriting Without Tears is an easy-to-learn curriculum for children to learn and improve their handwriting. It uses developmentally appropriate techniques such as singing, building letters, and using stories to remember how letters are formed. This curriculum makes writing more easily accessible to kids with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, Transactional Support (SCERTS) – SCERTS is an innovative educational model for working with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. It is a personalized program that can be used from early childhood to help a child become a confident social communicator and learn functional skills. It uses tools such as picture communication, written schedules, and sensory supports, and promotes child-initiated communication.

Picture Exchange System (PECS) – PECS is a type of alternative communication technique, designed as an aid for children with autism, but is useful for a wide range of learners who have communicative or physical impairments. It involves the child using pictures of objects or words to communicate his/her requests and feelings, greatly improving communication without the use of verbal speech.

Teaching & Education of Autistic & Other Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) – TEACCH is an education program designed for children with autism and other communication difficulties. It is a visually-based learning in a highly structured environment, in order to help children with communication, organization, schedules, and relating to others. The strategies also address underlying reasons behind a child’s behavior, such as lack of understanding of expectations or sensory over-stimulation.

SRA and Reading A-Z – SRA and Reading A-Z are interactive reading resources to support readers of various levels. They include reading exercises about a wide range of topics that progress in difficulty from one to the next. They are designed to engage the child in the story, and improve vocabulary and reading fluency.

Brain Frames – Brain Frames are a set of six graphical patterns that students draw to organize their language and ideas.  If students have thoughts, they can show them with Brain Frames, which helps to them to organize, reflect on, refine, remember, and communicate these ideas effectively with others. This method can be used at any grade level to help with tasks where structure and organization are key.