Some of our most
Frequently asked Questions
Listed below are some of the most common questions we get regarding autism and our programs. If you have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact us during our regular school hours.
What is Autism?
Autism is a neurological disorder and is classified as one of the five pervasive developmental disorders. The behavioral characteristics associated with autism are, difficulties with verbal and nonverbal communication, significant impairments in social interactions, difficulties in the development of play skills, highly restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviors and interests.
What is ABA?
ABA stands for Applied Behavioral Analysis. It is a branch of psychology that involves analyzing and modifying human behavior. Applied behavior analysis is the application of the science of behavior to increase or decrease a particular behavior, to improve the quality of a behavior, to stop an old behavior, or to teach a new behavior.
ABA focuses on breaking behaviors down into small discrete steps, and then teaching each step in a structured and hierarchical fashion, providing guidance in the form of prompts, and providing positive reinforcement for correct responding.
The principles of ABA have been around for some time, and have multiple uses outside the scope of teaching children with autism. ABA can be the basis of programs addressing a wide range of human behavior.
ABA is a framework for the practice and application of the science of behaviorism and not a specific program. Rather it is a set of principles and guidelines upon which educational programs are based.
What is Verbal Behavior?
Verbal Behavior was as outlined by B.F. Skinner in his 1957 book titled Verbal Behavior. In his book, he describes a systematic approach to the development of language in humans. Skinner makes the theoretical point that language is behavior caused by environmental variables such as reinforcement, motivation, extinction and punishment. Skinner explained that language could be analyzed into a set of functional units, with each unit (or operant) serving a different function. Skinner's analysis takes several portions of language and analyzes them as individual units taking into account their antecedents, functions and reinforcement.
Verbal behavior or Applied Verbal Behavior (AVB) is simply a behavior based approach that focuses on teaching verbal behavior based on Skinner's analysis through a set of highly effective teaching procedures.
What is Discrete Trial Teaching?
Discrete trial teaching is often referred to in the literature as DTT. DTT is a teaching method that is based upon the science of ABA. A discrete trial involves breaking skills into small discrete units, and presenting tasks in simple units of learning and building upon each mastered skill in a systematic manner.
What are the hours of the school day?
Janus Academy is open Monday to Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm. Instructional hours are between 9:00 am and 3:15 pm. Student drop-off and pick-up windows are 8:50-9:10 and 3:00-3:20.
Do you provide transportation?
No, Janus Academy does not provide transportation. It is the parent’s responsibility to provide transportation to and from school. The majority of our students use Access Calgary (Handi-Bus) to get school. To contact Access Calgary please call 277-6482. Janus Academy staff meet the Handi-Bus in front of the school each morning and escort the students to the bus driver’s after school.
How does the school and families communicate?
Staff and parents are encouraged to communicate daily via a communication book. The content of each communication book is individual, based on student, teacher and parent needs. In addition a monthly newsletter consisting of student, school and parent information is sent home on the first day of each month.We also hold three parent teacher interviews over the school year and more frequent meetings can be arranged as needed.
How long do students usually stay at Janus Academy?
This depends on the long term goals of each student and their family. Some families stay with us for the entire elementary school, middle school and high school years while other’s stay 2-3 years before integrating into another educational setting such as, their community school.
What is the cost of tuition?
Tuition costs for the school year are $12000 per student. A non-refundable deposit of $2000 is due upon signing the enrollment agreement and goes towards your tuition.
Is there any financial assistance available?
Yes. The Cosmopolitan Club of Calgary provides financial assistance to families who best meet their criteria. These bursary funds are split amongst several families depending on financial need. Applications for this bursary are available in April of each school year.
The Prosser Foundation administers funding on behalf of The Prosser Charitable Foundation Parentís Choice Fund to support the Parentís Choice Bursary. Up to 25 bursaries will be awarded annually, by lottery in the amount of 50% of the tuition costs of attending an independent school in Calgary or its immediate environs, to a maximum of $3,500 per student awardee, to a new student entering an independent school at any level. Each participating school will receive a minimum of one bursary. Once awarded, the bursary will continue to be awarded each and every year as long as the recipient meets the qualifications of the program. For more information visit www.theprossercharitablefoundation.ca.
What classroom will my child be placed in?
This depends on current classroom vacancies and the needs of each student. We strive to place students in classrooms that group children by age and as well as abilities.
Will my child receive O.T and Speech services?
Every child receives speech and OT support however, what it looks like it depends on the needs of each student and family. We contract out with REACH for O.T. and Speech services for many of our students. They come into our classrooms and provide hands on training and consultation to the therapists and teachers within the classroom. We feel this works best for many of our students as it is essential that they receive intensive speech and OT work throughout the day instead of short sessions each week. The SLP and OT come into the classroom to observe the students on their initial visit and then follow up on the next visit with direct hands on work with the students and have Janus Academy staff observe and ask questions. Finally, they have the staff implement the goals and suggestions and provide direct feed back. An OT and SLP through Student Health Partnership (SHP) also provide services for one of our classrooms. SHP provides programming to those students who's educational priorities tend to be academic and social in nature.
What does lunch and recess supervision look like?
Students are supervised at all times during lunch and recess breaks. Many students continue to have behavioral objectives throughout lunch and recess and are working on skills such as, expanding food preferences, peer interactions, remaining seated while eating, etc.