Elementary Education

The Elementary Education Program at Giant Steps provides individualized programming for students diagnosed with autism in grades K-8.  Elementary provides academic and therapeutic programming that draws from a variety of treatment approaches specific to Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Students are divided into two distinct program models:  individualized intensive therapeutic learning or group-based learning (our Explorers Program).

Individualized Intensive Therapeutic Learning:
  • Appropriate for students at all levels of the Autism Spectrum
  • Individual or small group (2-4 students) learning environment
  • Individualized motivation system
  • Academic instruction utilizing a variety of
    strategies individualized to the student learning style
  • Pull-out and/or push-in therapy sessions
  • Sensory diet highly integrated throughout the day 
    Group-Based Learning (Explorers Program):
  • Appropriate for students performing close to grade level academically
  • Whole or small group learning environment (2-10 students)
  • All students using the same self-monitoring motivation system
  • Therapy services delivered in a whole or small group environment
  • Speech therapist or social worker pushed into the classroom at all times



 Elementary Support

Giant Steps is committed to partnering with families and providing excellent communication between home and school.  In addition to daily communication logs and therapy notes, the team at Giant Steps is willing to individualize family support as we know the best outcomes for our students occur if the school and family are working together.  Some examples of individualized family support include:

  • Home visits to collaborate on current challenges
  • Having parents attend their child’s therapy sessions
  • Sending video of students throughout their day
  • Regularly scheduled phone calls with families
  • Person-centered planning meetings with families
  • Training in-home workers through observation at school
  • Collaboration with outside therapists and doctors
  • Advocacy and referrals to appropriate community-based agencies
  • Monthly trainings for Giant Steps parents sponsored by social work department 

  • Staffing is individualized by student needs, however, Elementary maintains a 1:1 student to staff ratio within the program
  • Every Student is supported by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of an occupational therapist, speech/language pathologist, music therapist, social worker, and behavioral analyst
  • Classrooms are staffed by certified Special Education teachers and highly qualified program assistants

 Inclusion One of the unique programs offered by Giant Steps is our inclusion program. This is a program that supports current Giant Steps' students in accessing appropriate educational or social opportunities within their home school district.  Once a child has made gains in skill areas that affected their ability to successfully participate within district programming, our staff can partner with families and the home school district to look at opportunities for GS students to participate in a less restrictive environment with GS support.  Some of our GS students spend part of their day in community school.