The Benefits of a Specialized School to Deal with Behavioral Challenges
Children diagnosed on the autistic spectrum and with other special needs may present and engage in challenging behaviors, such as aggression, self-injurious behavior (SIB), and/or property destruction. These behaviors can range from skin-picking and slapping to head-banging, self-biting, punching, and kicking. According to the Autism New Jersey website, New Jersey currently has the highest rate of autism in the country and 6 out of 10 families bear severe challenging behaviors every day. These actions may negatively affect the whole family, and parents may struggle to properly care for loved ones who engage in this type of severe challenging behavior.
Conventional schools often punish the student instead of working to modify and ameliorate the problem behaviors. Families seeking solutions to effectively manage these challenges might want to consider the benefits of a specialized school.
The basis of a structure to a behavioral plan
Every aspect of the child’s day, from academics to social interaction, is structured to create highly personalized instruction that seeks to minimizes frustration while maximizing learning and success. A specialized school is well equipped to meet a range of unique IEPs. At a specialized school, each child has a specific behavior plan, a daily routine within a structured environment, and care from trained staff to specifically address behavioral challenges in a positive way. Students’ IEPs may include daily therapy sessions, Specially Designed Instruction (SDI), and individualized, small group learning. With small student-to-teacher ratios, and often one-on-one aides, students receive the level of attention and instruction they need in an environment specially tailored to them.
Curriculum and Staff
A specialized school will also tailor the curriculum to suit the students’ individual needs. Currently, one of the most well-researched and effective treatment strategies for severe challenging behavior is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA assessment and intervention procedures have been proven to be able to substantially reduce severe challenging behavior. Specialized schools are uniquely equipped to identify children with these needs and provide them with access to ABA treatment as early as possible. Specialized schools hire certified BCBAs and technicians to provide therapy, oversee student behavior plans, work with teachers to address setbacks, and encourage growth.
It is not unusual for children with special needs to have difficulties communicating. The frustrating inability to communicate may in turn lead to adverse behaviors. Specialized schools employ a speech-language pathologist who observes children in their daily activities and collaborates with teachers to create a total communication plan. During academic, social, and leisure activities, the speech therapist assists students in communicating verbally, through sign language, or other augmentative devices.
With the right education and therapies, your child can learn, grow, and develop abilities that will help him or her gain greater independence, self-esteem, and self-regulation. A specialized school will have a dedicated support team to work with you and your child to help the family thrive.
Request a Tour of The Gateway School
Since 1980, RKS Associates has been a leader in providing the needs of special education students and helping children grow to their fullest potential. Each of our schools seeks to empower each student with skills for life, work, and recreation; we believe that every individual possesses the dignity and potential to contribute to a better world.
As part of the RKS Associates Network of schools in New Jersey, the goal at the Gateway School is to assist all students in becoming as independent as possible and help them get ready for the future. Located in Carteret, NJ, we serve individuals throughout Central and Northern New Jersey. Contact us at our main office at 732.541.4400 with any questions or schedule a private tour of the Gateway School today.
Chris Hoye, Principal-The Gateway School of Carteret, NJ