Our Autism School in Jacksonville
Reaching Milestones Learning Center
The Reaching Milestones Learning Center is a private therapy school dedicated to improving the lives of children with special needs. Our goal is to prepare each child for a successful transition into a mainstream educational placement. We accomplish this goal by providing a small group instructional format (1 teacher : 5 students) with educational programming that is developmentally & academically appropriate. We emphasize the importance of parental involvement as well as ensure that effective lines of communication are always maintained. Each child’s progress is consistently tracked and analyzed to ensure that he or she reaches full potential. Once a child is ready for a less intensive educational placement, the team of parents and therapists will develop and implement an effective transitional plan. On-going training, monitoring, and consultation will be available to further ensure the child’s success.
Levels of Specialized Instruction
Results from the individualized assessments (FBA, VB-MAPP, Essential for Living, etc.,) will indicate which level of specialized instruction is recommended. Programming is designed to teach learning, language, social, functional, and self-help skills required to progress to the next level.
Generally comprised of “early-learners” who require highly intensive instruction focused on teaching basic requesting, labeling, listening, adult/peer-interactions, speech improvement, self-help, and toileting skills.
Our “intermediate-learners” comprise this instructional level which emphasizes language development, listening skill improvement, introductory conversational skills training, advanced peer-interactions, and practicing classroom routines/group instructional periods.
These “advanced-learners” will be receiving instruction centered on expanding language and conversational skills, improving the frequency and complexity of peer/social interactions, independently completing academic tasks, and learning new concepts/skills in a group teaching format. This is the final step for most of these children before transitioning into a mainstream educational placement.
Daily Schedule of Activities
Check-in and Independent Academics
Upon arriving, each child learns to check-in with their therapist, put away their personal belongings, and begin an independent academic task. Parents will be provided a briefing on the lesson plans for the day.
Morning circle/Morning meeting
The children will come together in larger groups to participate in circle time, which includes typical academic tasks (calendar, weather, and monthly topic/concept), music, and social games.
Based on an assessment of the child’s current academic level, teachers develop a curriculum for advanced, intermediate or beginning academics. Parents will be provided with monthly updates on their child’s academic progress. Examples of work done at each level are listed below.
Advanced: (Academics at Individualized Levels) Handwriting, Writers Composition, Daily Writing Response, Grammar/Punctuation/Editing, Science/Social Studies, Reading Comprehension, Independent Research, Math
Intermediate: (Beginning Academics with Modifications)Tracing, Beginning Sentence/Story Writing, Fine Motor Development, Story Time/ Beginning Comprehension, Beginning Computation Skills, Completion of VB-MAPP
Beginning: (Preacademics based on current skill level on the VB-MAPP with a heavy emphasis on early language development) Matching, sorting, Labeling, Listener Responding/Discriminating, Imitation, Requesting, Social skill development, following basic group instructions, beginning fine motor, beginning conversations skills
Social, Group, Arts and Crafts
The children come together again for a variety of different games and activities; such as tug-a-war, musical chairs, Simon-says, hot and cold, go-fish, bowling, relay-races, etc. The goal of these activities is further develop a child’s ability to interact with peers and condition these interactions as a form of reinforcement. Teaching children to talk, listen, and collaborate with each other leads to the development of meaningful friendships.
We strive to make every moment a learning opportunity, even during lunch time. Training might focus on food acceptance, eating with utensils, meal preparation, etc. Increasing independence and building a nutritional diet are the emphasis of this period.
Functional, Safety, and Daily Living
Depending on the child’s individual goals, programming and training could target a variety of skills; including: personal hygiene, dressing, avoidance of (simulated) dangerous situations, cleaning-tasks, telephone-answering/calling, etc., Parental involvement will be critical in selecting these skills.
This second academic period is an extension of the first and focuses on shaping skills necessary for both attending and responding during small group instruction.
Closing circle / Afternoon meeting
The day comes to an end with music and play activities further strengthening social and group interaction skills.
Independent Academics, Parent Debriefing, and Checking Out
The children will work on completing academic tasks independently while their parent is debriefed by the therapist. After the parent receives all the necessary information on their child’s daily performance and homework tasks, the children will gather their personal belongings and check-out.
We believe that every child, regardless of their disability or deficits, can make progress. We have found that a comprehensive ABA program, a dedicated staff, and involved parents consistently results in positive outcomes for our students.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you accept children with non-verbal learning disorder and related issues?
Yes, Reaching Milestones Learning Center has been designed specifically for students struggling with deficits in verbal, social, and behavioral skills.
What if my child needs additional support or training in order to be successful in this school setting?
Our on-site clinic can provide 1:1 ABA therapy in the school to ensure your child’s success.
Are services reimbursable through my insurance provider?
We are participating providers for Tricare, Aetna, BCBS-Florida, United Health Care, Cigna, and Magellan Behavioral Health. Call our administrative office at 904-538-0713 for more information.
How are level placements decided?
Students are placed in the level that correlates with their score on the VB-MAPP assessment as well as the level that best meets their behavioral, developmental, and academic needs. Teaching and learning styles are taken into consideration.
Do you offer financial assistance of any kind?
Reaching Milestones Learning Center is proud to participate in the McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program and does accept the McKay Scholarship.
Do you offer before and after school care?
Yes! Please check in with us for current rates and to check availability. We do require some notice to schedule these services.
What should I do if I don’t agree with the services my child’s public school is providing for my child?
Become familiar with the Florida Department of Education, www.fldoe.org/ese/. This website provides links that explains special education law, the special education process, and outlines steps you may take for resolving disagreements. This website also includes instructions for applying for the McKay Scholarship.