At Giant Steps we strongly believe that a coordinated, comprehensive approach of specialized academics, direct therapies and inclusion best meets the complex learning needs of children with autism:
- At Giant Steps, students participate in individualized and data-driven programs of academics, therapies and behavioural intervention based on detailed IEPs, frequent clinical reviews and ongoing parent involvement.
- In coordination with academics, and through a wide array of best practices, we deliver 3 core therapy programs – speech, behaviour and occupational therapies, and address play/social skills and daily living skills in our all our programming.
- Students receive 1 hour of direct therapy/week in each of the 3 disciplines. Our kids’ program assistants are active participants in their therapy sessions and our therapists also work directly in the child’s classroom, fostering the generalization of therapy strategies to all settings.
- After a period of attending Giant Steps full-time, children spend parts of their school week in their local schools where they and their typically developing peers benefit from a fully inclusive experience in a regular age-appropriate classroom. Their successful participation there is facilitated by the one-on-one support of an experienced Giant Steps program assistant and the consulting services of the full Giant Steps team. Our long-term goal is to integrate children with autism back into their local schools full-time.
- Inclusion and transfer of learned skills to a variety of environments is an important focus of the Giant Steps program. Programming includes frequent community outings where our students practise social, academic, recreational and life skills with the support of the Giant Steps team. An evening sports and recreational skill development program, open to the broader community, prepares children with autism for inclusion in school and community programs.