Many children with autism require one-on-one special assistance to succeed in a school program. More than a “babysitter,” these children need someone to encourage positive behaviors, engage in social situations, help them keep academic pace with the other students, and maintain skills across environments. Although schools can sometimes provide an aide, children with autism have specific learning, social and communication challenges that warrant a specially trained school therapist from The Shafer Center. This therapist creates a bridge between the child and society. For some children that bridge is teaching a child with severe behavior issues to use their words instead of being aggressive and for other children that bridge is offering some relaxation strategies to make the unpredictable assembly less stressful.

The Bridge Team

  • Follows the routine set up by the school
  • Uses principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to promote independence
  • Integrates the child’s interests, learning style, and personal goals
  • Increases appropriate behaviors while decreasing inappropriate behaviors
  • Focuses on IEP (including implementation of sensory diets and behavior intervention plans)
  • Facilitates social moments in open time slots
  • Collects data throughout the school day
  • Uses The Shafer Center’s individualized programming (Connect XYZ and Bridge Building)
  • Supports schools with curriculum adaption and by offering trainings to school staff

Whether your child is a preschooler learning how to go to wait his/her turn for the swing set or a pre-teen in middle school who needs tips on what to say in the cafeteria, our Bridge Therapists serve as an on-site coach to give tips in the moment that it matters most. We service children in a wide variety of placements and with a broad range of needs.

For more information about our Bridge Program, call us at 410-517-1113 or email the Director of Admissions at [email protected].