Janus Academy provides individualized programming for each student based on the science of Applied Behaviour Analysis. Much emphasis is placed on the development of language and communication, socially appropriate behaviour, learner skills and academics, through a verbal behaviour approach and discrete trial teaching. Goals and objectives for each student are designed to facilitate independence and allow each student to grow and develop to their full potential.
The Janus Academy provides programming in education to students who possess skills across the autism spectrum. As student profiles differ significantly, we have created different divisions within our program to target individual needs and group cohesiveness. Janus Academy classrooms are not formed by grades but rather by similar student profiles. We do our best to ensure that all students are placed within a peer group that will provide them with the most successful education.
Students who require programming to focus on core curriculum to increase ability in reading, language arts, math, science, and social studies are placed in our academic stream. Students within this stream must possess specific skill profiles such as, strong language and communication skills (receptive and expressive), classroom readiness skills, ability to work with in groups of peers, independent work skills, social awareness and be assessed academically to fit current student profiles. Student may enter this stream at any age.
Other classrooms are organized to target students who require a very intensive program across many areas. Specific classrooms are set up to target those students who are working on building a mode of language and communication, learning readiness skills, basic learner skills such as, visual skills, motor skills, daily living skills. Other classrooms are set up to target those students who are working at enhancing their success to learn with in small groups, who are beginning to be introduced to core curriculum subjects such as, literacy and math and who communicate well (using vocal, sign or a electronic communication device) but may not be able to maintain a reciprocal conversation or have strong observation learning skills.
Those students who meet criteria in learning readiness skills, language comprehension skills, and expressive language (vocal or sign language) are assessed using SRA Direct Instruction materials in reading, math and language arts. SRA employs systematic, direct instruction within an environment of ideas and exploration. Skill development is actively pursued, then applied in meaningful contexts. Scores on placement tests then guide teachers when they are making programming decisions for which curriculum level is appropriate for each student. SRA curriculum is presented to students in small groups of two to four students or within a 1:1 setting. Students may be placed on one or a combination of these curriculums to supplement their classroom learning.
- Distar Math
- Connecting Math
- Reading Mastery
- Language for Learning
- Language for Thinking
- Language for Writing
Classroom instruction is based primarily on intensive behavioral strategies that have been developed as a result of the B.F Skinners analysis of verbal behaviour. Skills are taught by building upon previously learned skills in a developmentally sequenced manner.
Each student's program is based upon goals set out in their Individual Program Plan. These goals are derived from the collaboration of the student's educational team, ABLLS assessment, functional analysis of behavior, contributions from parents, a Speech and Language Pathologist, and an Occupational Therapist.
Individualized instruction is intensive and fast paced, requiring a high rate of responding by the student. Positive reinforcement is used to create an atmosphere that maintains the student's motivation through out the day.
Learning opportunities are capitalized upon and created during individual sessions, group activities and outside structured activities.
Programs are frequently reviewed and adjustments are made to teaching strategies and the skills targeted. Probe data is taken daily on all targetted goals and programming decisions are made from the analysis of this data.
Sign language is often used for those students who have difficulty acquiring speech as their primary mode of communication and as a method of teaching basic language skills. The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is also taught to those students to whom it is beneficial.
Instructional staff are continually challenged to improve and expand their teaching skills through inservice training, hands on training, and professional development opportunities.