The Shafer Center for Early Intervention

The Shafer Center for Early Intervention, located at 11500 Cronridge Drive, Suite 130, Owings Mills, Maryland. The main phone number is 410-517-1113. The Shafer Center is operated under the legal authority of Shafer Center for Early Intervention, Inc. The Shafer Center was created in an effort to provide a rich and comprehensive learning experience for children on the autism spectrum. The program is focused on providing a challenging and multidisciplinary educational environment that seamlessly integrates academics, speech and language goals, sensory needs and social opportunities.

The Shafer Center is a mixed grade/mixed age, co-educational program, for children ages 3-12 years old, grades preschool- 5th grade. The program has an enrollment capacity of 50 children and accepts children on the autism spectrum as well as children who have emotional disturbance, cognitive impairment, multiple disabilities, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, and developmental delays.

The Shafer Center provides six mixed grade/mixed age classroom programs: Pioneer, Discover, Explorer, Voyager, Pathfinder, and Endeavor.

Pioneer

The Pioneer classroom contains no more than four (4) students. The goal of the Pioneer class is to teach students pre-learning skills by building a strong foundational knowledge base in order to learn in a 1-1 and/or group setting. The Pioneer class is six (6) hours per day with one (1) hour of group instruction and five (5) hours of one-on-one instruction. Group instruction is utilized to introduce and expose students to new skills and provided by a Certified Special Educator. Students placed in the Pioneer classroom have needs in domains including, but not limited to: Pre-Academics, Functional School Skills, Language and Communication, Play and Leisure, Social Skills, and Special Areas (health, science, social studies, art, music, and technology). MORE.

Discover

The Discover classroom contains no more than five (5) students. The Discover class goal is to establish a base of functional academic and life skills, which will lead to greater independence. The Discover class is six (6) hours per day with one and a half (1.5) hours of group instruction and four and a half (4.5) hours of one-on-one instruction. A Certified Special Educator and Teaching Assistant provide group/class instruction, with the student’s 1:1 aide supporting both teachers. Instruction is provided to establish a base of functional academic and life skills to increase the students’ independence. Students placed in the Discover classroom have needs in the domains including, but not limited to: Academics, Functional Life Skills, Language and Communication, Motor Skills, Play and Leisure, and Special Areas (health, science, social studies, art, music, and technology). MORE.

Explorer

The Explorer classroom contains no more than eight (8) students. The Explorer class goal is to teach students early literacy and math skills while they actively participate in a group-learning environment. The Explorer class is six (6) hours per day with four (4) hours of group instruction and two (2) hours of one-on-one instruction. A Certified Special Educator, Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, and a Teaching Assistant provide group instruction. ABA Instruction will occur with the student’s 1:1 therapist for two (2) hours per day. Class instruction is designed to teach students early literacy and math skills while actively participating in a group-learning environment. Students placed in the Explorer classroom have needs in domains including, but not limited to: English Language Arts (ELA), Math, Language and Communication, Classroom Readiness, Self-Management, Imitation, and Special Areas (health, science, social studies, art, music, and technology). MORE.

Voyager

The Voyager classroom contains no more than five (5) students. By building upon a strong foundational knowledge base, we develop classroom readiness and pre-academic skills in a 1-1 and group learning environment. The Voyager class is six (6) hours per day with two (2) hours of group instruction and four (4) hours of one-on-one instruction. A Certified Special Education and Teaching Assistant lead group instruction. ABA instruction will occur with the student’s 1:1 therapist for three (3) hours per day. Class instruction is designed to build foundational knowledge and develop classroom readiness and pre-academic skills in a group learning and 1:1 environment. Students placed in the Voyager classroom have needs in domains including, but not limited to: English Language Arts (ELA), Math, Imitation, Language and Communication, Generalization of skills, Classroom Readiness, Motor Skills, Vocational Skills, and Special Areas (health, science, social studies, art, music, and technology). MORE.

Pathfinder

The Pathfinder classroom contains no more than seven (7) students. The goal of the Pathfinder class is for students to demonstrate increased independence and generalization of functional academics and life skills. The Pathfinder class is six (6) hours per day with 2.5 hours of group instruction and 3.5 hours of one-on-one instruction. Group instruction can occur in dyads, where two students are paired together intentionally, and will be provided by a Certified Special Educator and Teaching Assistant, with support from the student’s 1:1 therapists. ABA Instruction will occur in the natural environment, utilizing Natural Environment Teaching (NET), provided by the student’s 1:1 therapist. Class instruction is designed to increase independence and generalization of functional academic and life skills. Students placed in the Pathfinder classroom have needs in domains including, but not limited to: Academics, Vocational Skills, Social Skills, Language and Communication, Adaptive and Functional Life Skills, and Special Areas (health, science, social studies, art, music, and technology). MORE.

Endeavor

The Endeavor classroom contains no more than eight (8) students. The Endeavor class goal is to expand the depth of academic and classroom independence given increased group learning experiences with fading supports. The Endeavor class is six (6) hours per day with six (6) hours of group instruction. Group learning will occur as a whole class, and overseen by a Certified Special Educator and Teaching Assistant. A Certified Special Educator and Speech-Language Pathologist will lead co-taught group instruction, with a focus on social competencies. There will be no ABA instruction within the Endeavor classroom, as the focus will be on group learning and academic needs. Students placed in the Endeavor classroom have needs in the domains including, but not limited to: English Language Arts (ELA), Math, Problem Solving, Independent Downtime and Leisure Skills, Social Skills, and Special Areas (health, science, social studies, art, music, and technology). MORE.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

The Shafer Center employs certified Special Education Teachers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Bachelors-level teaching assistants and behavior therapists to implement the children’s academic programming or Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The Shafer Center also provides individual Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and intensive one-on-one ABA Therapy through our Resource Center. In addition, we contract licensed physical therapists and a licensed music therapist to provide services either through our Resource Center or as a related service as indicated on an IEP.

The Shafer Center’s program is based on the child’s current skill level and overall level of development. Prior to entry into The Shafer Center, each child receives an observation, file review, and a baseline assessment of their skill-sets. They are then matched into their respective classroom, using this information. This allows the child to pave the way for his or her learning opportunities, in turn allowing the teams to maximize on those learning opportunities to make the child’s learning experience the most meaningful for them. Each classroom is designed to create an environment where every learning activity focuses on increasing academic, social and language skills while increasing the child’s independence, curiosity and love of learning. We incorporate play, leisure, safety, activities of daily living, and community skills to allow the child to make the most out of their time.

Each child is treated as an individual who brings his or her own strengths to every classroom opportunity. While the program is designed on overarching academic curricula, children have individualized goals that utilize their strengths to support their unique needs. The curricula and individualized goals are flexible to adjust modifications and expectations as each child progresses at their own rate.

Maintenance and generalization of skills is a focus of The Shafer Center’s program. It is essential that children not only acquire skills but that each skill is generalized to a variety of functional and natural situations as quickly and efficiently as possible. We examine and/or create every possible learning opportunity throughout the day where skills can be practiced. This is the optimum way to ensure skills are maintained, functional, and utilized in each child’s everyday life.

Our facility offers six (6) class types, large group therapy room/library, an occupational therapy room, multiple individual treatment rooms, and staff offices.

Our People

The Educational Program at The Shafer Center for Early Intervention is directly run by the Director of Education and overseen by the President and the Director of Clinical Services:

Counties We Partner With As A Non-Public Placement

  • Anne Arundel County
  • Baltimore City
  • Baltimore County
  • Baltimore City
  • Carroll County
  • Harford County
  • Howard County
Click on the links above or call 410-517-1113 for more details about our classes and how we can customize a program to meet your child’s unique needs.