From 2004 - 2006 I  ran a language-based ABA classroom based on the principles of verbal behaviour. We offered a continuum where students progressively develop communication and social skills which gave them to some success at integrating into classes with typical peers. We focused on teaching routines and using visual supports. We looked at the function of behaviours and develop positive behaviour plans for our students.  This was a model for a program for students with autism and other developmental disabilities at the secondary level in a public high school.


There were approximately 16 students in our "Functional Skills" program - in which students received direct instruction in one to one, small group and large group settings across the school day. We used discrete trial (IT) and natural environment teaching. Our classes modelled regular classes and followed the block rotation of the rest of the school. We offered keyboarding, PE, art, music, socials and science, english and math. Each student had an intensive program and we based their goals on the ABLLS-R. Once students were able to learn in a regular classroom we moved some of their instruction there as electives.


We used many different instructional materials - Language for Learning, DT Trainer, Reading Milestones, Edmark, Stevenson Reading, the Smile Program and developed our own. Students in regular elective classes had adaptations as needed.


We had the best of all worlds. Students received the instruction they need AND were a part of a regular public school. It cost no more money than inclusion and probably less money than a private school. Our students were learning, our parents were happy and the rest of the school was accepting.