Hopeful Journeys utilizes the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to individualize functional curriculum for each student. Hopeful Journeys uses various teaching methods which includes video modeling, task analysis, discrete trial training, errorless learning, data driven behavior plans, feeding programs, systematic social skills training, and direct instruction.
Discrete Trial Training
Hopeful Journeys utilizes Discrete Trial Training (DTT) as a method of teaching students new skills, including academics, speech, occupational therapy, and social skills. These skills are often taught first using DTT within the structured classroom environment, and then generalized to other environmental locations.
Task analyses are used to teach new routines by breaking the skill down in smaller, more easily trained steps. At Hopeful Journeys, task analyses are used to teach a variety of skills, most notably in the areas of self-care, independent living skills, leisure skills, vocational skills, and academic skills.
Hopeful Journeys incorporates a curriculum bank through the New England Center for Children, the Autism Curriculum Encyclopedia (ACE), to help further strengthen our students’ programming. The ACE curriculum prompting levels are scientifically researched to be the most successful for a wide range of students. Within the ACE, programs are connected to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Programs range from such core skills as identifying letters, numbers and colors to higher level math and vocational skills.
Direct Instruction Programs
In addition to the ACE curriculum, Hopeful Journeys utilizes a variety of direct instruction programs to teach reading fluency, reading comprehension, vocabulary, math, social studies, and science. Some of the direct curricula that Hopeful Journeys uses includes Language for Learning, Edmark, Reading Milestones, Wordly Wise, Mimio, Phonics for Reading, Connecting Math Concepts, Touch Math, Math in Focus, Essentials for Algebra, and Step-By-Step Math Word Problems, as well as others.
In addition to three year evaluations, students participate in yearly assessments to ensure that programs are being developed appropriately. Such assessments include Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, ABLLS, VB-MAPP, and behavior assessments. Academic assessments are conducted as needed and include the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, KeyMath-3 Diagnostic Assessment, the Test of Reading Comprehension (TORC) and the Qualitative Reading Inventory. Students also participate in preference assessments, ABC data, collections, and functional analyses to ensure behavior plans are accurate and up to date.
Our academic classrooms promote generalized academic learning while increasing access to curriculum within a less restrictive environment. Students are given the opportunity to access curriculum in the areas of reading, vocabulary, reading comprehension, logic and reasoning and math. Students also work on a variety of hands-on activities, such as history and science lessons. Students enjoy not only working one on one with a teacher, but also within groups of peers, and with an open and inviting environment, students learn to work cooperatively within a larger classroom setting.