The gap program is held daily during school vacations in order to keep children socially engaged through targeted social skills instruction.
Programs offered from 9am–12pm and 12:30pm-3pm
The program is appropriate for students ages 3–6 that have a social skill and/or language deficit.
Students who attend our program may have diagnoses such as NLD, Asperger’s, High-Functioning Autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, developmental delays or communication disorders. During the gap program, groups of 4–5 children spend 3 hours daily in exciting in-door group activities, with 2 trained staff to facilitate social interaction and create opportunities for language use and incidental instruction. In addition to the indoor camp/classroom activities, there is direct language and social instruction each day. Groups are overseen by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and run by trained ABA instructors. 1:1 aides are available upon request.
Learning to make and keep friends is crucial in every child’s life. Social skills groups at Advances Learning Center provide direct instruction in functional social skills, an opportunity to practice skills in a safe environment, and a chance to develop the skills needed for strong and lasting friendships.
Advances Learning Center offers social skills groups Tuesday through Saturday. Children are grouped into small “clubs” which meet for two hours every week for two 16-week sessions during the school year. See “summer socials” for information about our summer social skills program. Groups include 2 to 5 students and two instructors. Our small group size ensures plenty of individual attention and helps facilitate the skills needed for the formation of close friendships.
- Eligible Students: Advances Learning Center has groups for toddlers, children, and teens of all ages who would benefit from social instruction. Not all of our students have a diagnosis, but among those who do are children with Non-verbal Learning Disorder, Aspergers, High-Functioning Autism, learning disabilities or communication disorders.
- Teaching: Social instruction at Advances is supportive, systematic, and data-driven. Our group leaders use only instructional methods shown to be effective by research. Whenever appropriate, instruction takes place within games and activities that mimic situations children will encounter in other environments (school, play-dates, birthday parties). The Advances Comprehensive Social Skills Curriculum covers a wide range of skills, from the primary (interacting with toys appropriately, turn-taking) to the complex (perspective-taking, inferencing)
- Progress: Data are taken on every objective, for every child, during every session. Data are graphed and analyzed to ensure that progress is being made. When the data show a lack of progress, teaching methods are changed immediately. Progress reports are sent to parents at the end of each 16-week session, but additional progress reports (including a report after the summer session) may be requested at other times. Staff: Advances group leaders are dedicated and creative teachers who have extensive experience with children with special needs and have solid backgrounds in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Each group has at least one assistant, usually a graduate or undergraduate student in an educational or developmental field of study. Additionally, one-to-one assistance may be provided for an extra fee if a student is not ready for a 1:2 ratio. Group leaders have the supervision and support of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, who oversees teaching procedures and student progress.
- Placement: At the intake appointment, each child is assessed and appropriate objectives are determined and prioritized. Children are matched with peers who share similar objectives and have compatible skill levels. Each group works on 5-8 objectives that focus on the particular areas of need of those students.
- Parent Communication: Parents are encouraged to be closely involved in their child’s program at Advances and are given weekly curriculum reports. These weekly reports also include a suggestion for an activity parents can do at home to encourage generalization of skills. At the end of the session each week, the group leader meets briefly with each parent for questions and updates. Additionally, parents may observe their child’s group or have another member of their educational team observe (requests must be made in advance). For less-intrusive observation, parents may request that a video of their child’s group be made for their (on-site) viewing.
For Vacation Gap, we accept private insurance and private pay.