CASE Developmental Preschool

Population Served

The CASE Developmental Preschool Program at the Ripley Building in Concord serves children ages 3-5 who have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, including PDD, or other developmental disabilities. These children present with delays in several or all of the following areas:

  • Communication development
  • Social interaction and adaptive behavior
  • Sensorimotor integration
  • Self-help and daily living skills
  • Gross motor development
  • Fine motor development
  • Cognitive development
  • Oral motor development

 

Program Description

The Developmental Preschool Program provides individualized special education programming for children 3-5 years old, using a model that focuses on the strengths and needs of the children in all developmental areas. Instructional strategies include a structured teaching approach with a heavy reliance on visual supports, data collection, communication and social skill development, as well as parent/guardian consultation and training.

The Developmental Preschool Program services may include any or all of the following: applied behavior analysis (ABA), DIR Floortime, social skills group, and picture exchange communication system (PECS) for functional communication, in addition to speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, per the students' IEPs. Generally, therapy is provided at a workstation in the classroom to enhance the opportunities for coordination of therapy services and classroom programming, and to promote generalization of skills; however, instructional spaces for 1:1 therapy are available in close proximity to the classroom for children who may benefit from some of their instruction in smaller settings with limited distractions.

Various service options are available, in formats ranging from individual to small group instruction to inclusion in a local preschool class or childcare setting adjacent to the CASE program. Activities include gross motor group, circle time, oral motor group, language group, communication programs, fine motor skill development, cognitive/academic work sessions, symbolic or sensory play times, music, and self-help training. Behavioral consultation services are incorporated into the program, as needed, as are other specialty services, for example, the services of a vision teacher or a teacher of the deaf. The CASE Consultation and Education Technology Team (CETT) provides individualized consultation and training in the area of assistive technology for students in this class as well as other CASE programs.

Curriculum

The curriculum for the Developmental Preschool is determined by the students' IEPs and follows the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks with appropriate modifications and accommodations.Monthly themes and special activities throughout the year are reflected in most aspects of the program, including therapies, as appropriate. Targeted areas include teaching of cognitive, academic, communication, motor, social, sensory, adaptive behavior, and self-help skills. Individual and small group opportunities are available. A total communication approach is used to facilitate language development in the context of direct teaching and the natural environment. This includes use of spoken language, vocalization, objects, pictures, sign language, gestures and aided forms of communication. Circle time, art activities, cooking, singing, symbolic play, and snack/lunch provide opportunities for application of skills and generalization of concepts.

Inclusion Opportunities

The CASE Developmental Preschool Program is located in the same area of the Ripley Building as the Concord Integrated Preschool and Concord Children’s Center. Our preschool students may join a preschool class for activities such as morning circle, choice time, or snack time. Activities with typically developing peers are incorporated into the schedule for many CASE students to enhance the development of language and social skills, and to provide opportunities for students to practice their skills in a more typical preschool setting.

Home/School Connections

Parents/guardians are involved in their child's program in a variety of ways:

Clinics

The home/school component of the CASE Developmental Preschool Program includes "clinics" for parents/guardians on a regular basis. Clinic meetings provide the opportunity for parent/guardian training, as well as coordination between home and school programming.

Notebooks

Notebooks are sent home on a daily basis to communicate with parents/guardians. Parents/guardians are encouraged to write in their child's notebook regularly. Notebooks provide a vehicle for at-home training, as well as coordination between home and school programming.

Progress Reports and IEP Review Meetings

Tri-annual progress reports and annual Team meetings for IEP review occur during the school year to update the progress that each child has made toward achieving the specific objectives delineated on his/her IEP.

Support Group

CASE provides a parent/guardian support group throughout the year. This group is facilitated by our Program Specialist who sets agendas based on parent/guardian interests and needs. At times, speakers will be brought in to focus on particular topics.

Extended School Year

Preschool students whose IEPs specify extended school year programming may continue in the CASE Preschool beyond the normal close of school in June. CASE provides a five-week extension of the program each summer, which is held at the air-conditioned Russell Street Elementary School in Littleton. The extended school year program addresses the students' IEP objectives in much the same manner as the regular school year program. However, formal parent/guardian -teacher meetings do not take place in the summer, and inclusionary programming is not available during the summer session.

For some students, extended school year services beyond the five-week summer school program are necessary. “Intersession” services are provided for students for whom the break in services between the school year and summer program would result in substantial regression of skills. The student’s Team determines the need for Intersession. Intersession services are provided by ABA Tutors, under the supervision of the BCBAs.

Staffing and Services

  • DESE Certified Special Education Teacher
  • Board Certified Behavior Analysts
  • Autism Program Specialist
  • ABA Tutors
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Adjustment Counselor/Social Worker
  • DIR Floortime Trained Staff
  • Teaching Assistants
  • Registered Nurse
  • CETT (Assistive Technology Team)
  • Others as required by students’ IEPs (such as Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Teacher of the Deaf, Orientation and Mobility Services)

   

School Calendar and Hours

The CASE Developmental Preschool Program follows a calendar that closely aligns with the Concord Public Schools. A parent/guardian-child open house is also scheduled prior to the first day of school. The preschool program runs from 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and from 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Tuesdays, comprising a 30-hour instructional week. There is no scheduled naptime or recess; specialized activities are scheduled for the children in 30-minute modules throughout the day.

Referrals

Placement in all CASE programs follows consensus by the sending school district, parent/guardian, and CASE staff. Current, signed IEP and placement pages are required for enrollment in all CASE classes. Referrals to a CASE program are initiated by the school district. Parents/guardians may obtain additional information about this or other CASE classes by contacting the special education office in their school district. District personnel may obtain additional information, including a referral form, by contacting the CASE Office as noted below.

Sandra Daigneault
Assistant Director
978-318-1536
sdaigneault@casecollaborative.org