The New York Times visited TAOTS to talk to our staff, and see first hand how our ASD Nest program works for this feature on the New York City Department of Educations evolving programming to serve the needs of autistic children. Please read the article here!
Individual schedules can be used to encourage independence and to reduce anxiety. Children who have an aversion to transitions can also find schedules helpful, especially if they are moving from a highly preferred activity to something that they may not prefer.
In ASD Nest, the cluster teachers use a variety of schedules tailored to meet the individual needs of our students. These schedules may also be helpful at home, especially if there will be a change in routine.
Below is a sample of a general schedule that is used by the ASD Nest Cluster teachers.
In the specialty classrooms, the cluster teachers use several methods of positive reinforcement to encourage our students to achieve their personal best.
One of the strategies we use are positive notes or “Compliment Cards/ Brag Tags”. The cluster teachers award students who have achieved their goals with small messages that are specific to what they have accomplished that period.
Some of our cards are pictured here, so if your child comes home with one let them know how proud you are!
Schedules and “Flow Charts”are visual supports that the Cluster Teachers use in tandem with the Specialty Teachers. Using a schedule or “flow chart” helps our students to manage their time visually. Students are able to anticipate what comes next. Using a schedule or flow chart helps to keep students on task and focused in specialty classes.
This is the 5 point voice scale that is used in all the ASD Nest classrooms. It is used as a visual reminder to show students the appropriate voice level that is expected in the classroom.
Each level represents the volume their voices should be used during each activity throughout the day.
Level 1 voice represents no talking which is seen during individual work, a mini-lesson (instructional time when the teacher is teaching the lesson), Level 2 voice is whispering which can be seen during partner/group work, Level 3 voice is an inside/classroom voice which is used during class discussions; answering or asking questions, Level 4 voice is an outside voice that is used during recess, Level 5 is an emergency voice.
Below is a picture to show you an example of what a voice scale may look like or be similar to one that is displayed in our classrooms for our students to refer to when needed. It may be helpful to implement this strategy at home to reinforce the expectations of their voice level.