Meadow Crest Early Learning Center

Extended Day Autism Program and Other Autism Support

 Our School

Our school is an Early Childhood Center in Washington that houses 14 Inclusive Preschool classrooms of 30 kids each (and growing!), in addition to Head Start and ECEAP classrooms that support children from low-income families. The children are all between 3-5 years old. Children with and without disabilities play and learn together all day and all are working towards Kindergarten readiness. The kind of disability and its impact varies from child to child, but the majority of our kids face developmental and/or environmental challenges that they work hard everyday to overcome. Our students are a diverse group and come from different cultural, language, ethnic, socioeconomic and ability backgrounds. All of them need a helping hand to build successful foundations for greater learning. The classroom serves as a welcoming environment that prepares kids for school success. Along the way, we also become family. 

 

Extended Day Program

The Extended Day program provides support specifically to children with a diagnosis of autism. The National Research Council (2001) recommends behavioral intervention of at least 25 hours/week in a low student-teacher ratio setting, focusing on a variety of functional skills, as well as targeting decreasing challenging behaviors and supporting the development of positive behaviors. In line with that research and other best practices, our program aims to provide research-based, systematic, and functional support to our students with autism by targeting specific skills and behaviors that better enable them to learn in their integrated preschool setting. Children work on cognitive, social, adaptive, communication, and motor skills with trained staff, through structured yet individualized programs. We learn through discrete and explicit teaching, but also through playing, singing, and having lots of fun together!

 

Extended Day in an Integrated Preschool Setting

We also support high-functioning students with ASD in a dual-preschool setting. To allow greater opportunity for practicing social and communication skills, some students are placed in an integrated preschool setting across both sessions, either in the same classroom or in two different classrooms, depending on the need of the student. This allows students a safe and supported environment to generalize skills they learn in one preschool setting in another similar yet different location. Students who start out in the self-contained Extended Day program may transition to attending dual sessions of integrated preschool.