SEARCH Day Program, Inc.

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Supported Inclusion

SEARCH Day Program's Supported Inclusion Program was developed in order to encourage young students with autism to learn, play and develop friendships alongside typically developing children in a regular classroom setting. Generally, these classroom settings are preschool, kindergarten or first grade classrooms in schools in the area.

SEARCH Day Program recognizes that children with autism differ significantly in terms of their instructional needs. However, the characteristics of those students who participate in this program are in a stage of learning where inclusionary experiences will promote their acquisition of important language, social, and behavioral skills. The students in this program typically possess readily emerging forms of language and play, have learned to be independent in their self care skills, learned to respond to delayed types of social and tangible reinforcement, and are cooperative and able to acquire new skills in the context of educational settings that do not include a magnitude of modifications or support.  These learners are prepared to take their learning "one more step”!

A "shadow" accompanies these young learners as a means to providing meaningful intervention and effective teaching opportunities while in the inclusive setting. A shadow is a SEARCH staff member who works with the student at our school, and is prepared to use a combination of teaching strategies to enhance social interactions among the children and promote the acquisition of student objectives while they participate in the program. 

The Supported Inclusion Program features opportunities for young learners to receive instruction in environments outside of the structured teaching environment when meaningful progress in social skills and other important skills can be reasonably expected, without jeopardizing their current acquisition or performance in other critical educational areas. 

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