St. Gerard House's Discovery program is a group ABA therapeutic program for school aged children.
Discovery is a purposefully designed environment for the child. The goal is to inspire life-long learning by bringing together evidence-based practices, holistic formation, and community engagement.
Discovery goes beyond inclusion of a student in a learning environment and limited interventions. It envisions the application of integrating the research and evidence based practices to form a unique learning environment that establishes equality and equity for all children and families. All children are cherished and essential to our shared experiences and formation. They are encouraged, challenged, and supported to explore, participate, and grow with each other and the world around them.
"Holistic formation using a Montessori design."
The Montessori method is a researched-based method of learning that provides child-led progression, concrete to abstract learning, purposefully designed environment, small group and individual learning, peer engagement, community responsibility, and a comprehensive and reliable learning framework.
The elements of Montessori foster ownership and independence in personal learning under the guidance of the instructor. Careful observation is key to a deeper understanding of the child’s interests, needs, and abilities. This allows for purposeful and developmentally appropriate small group and individual lessons. Montessori has a strong community element that encourages every child to consider their own contribution to the world around them.
Discovery uses current research and evidence-based practices to form the environment in which the children learn and grow. Proven tools such as visuals, schedules, reinforcements, contingencies are integrated into each area of Discovery. Each child has individualized ABA support plans that do not isolate or stigmatize. Each lesson plan is carefully structured to meet the individual needs of the child in physical, cognitive, and social emotional development.
Discovery adopt the CASEL’s framework and the five competencies: Self-awareness, Self-management, Social Awareness, Relationship skills, and Responsible decision-making within the classroom, school, and community. The framework provides a comprehensive tool in which to provide the children with knowledge and skills they can use with peers and obtain peer feedback.
STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics
A unique opportunity for children to take what they have learned to make a positive impact on their environment. It brings purpose to their knowledge, promotes confidence in the ability to make a change, opens their mind to new possibilities, and supports order in exploration and discovery.
- Project based learning, inquiry-based learning approach
- Use the scientific method; collect evidence, build critical analysis, search for information, integrate results from observations and/or experiments
- Encourages children to wonder and challenge ideas.
Children learn to play a meaningful role within the community by effectively engaging in the issues. They are encouraged to contribute their unique perspective and knowledge. They learn about issues in-depth and participate in decision-making. Working together improves communication and understanding.
Discovery provides a variety of community experiences through service projects, field trips, guests, and use of community resources. We empower children to advocate by using their voice to influence decision-makers. Breaking down barriers to mental health stigma and stereotypes.