S.T.A.G.E.S. of Learning Center (STAGES) is a private therapeutic school dedicated to improving the lives of its students through the science of Applied Behavior Analysis. We serve students aged between toddlers thought adulthood who demonstrate a wide range of needs in the areas academic, social, communication, and daily living skills.
Our goal is to prepare our students for success and fulfillment both academically and socially so that they can have the smoothest transition into the mainstream world. We provide individualized, educational programs based on the principles and methods of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). We seek to make it functional and socially significant for the student
Our overall staff to student ratio tends to be 1:1 with it never more than a 6:1 ratio. A high staff to student ratio is necessary to allow for the various rates students acquire new skills. Being able to provide 1:1 instruction allows each student’s programming to move at a pace that is appropriate for that student and enables staff to make modifications to ensure that students are making desired gains.
The Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA/ BCBA) or Licensed Assistant Behavior Analyst (LABA/ BCABA), directly supervises all programs. The supervisor works in conjunction with the Preschool Teacher to develop goals, monitor student progress, create and implement individualized systems of reinforcement, and train staff.
The teacher works in conjunction with the Behavior Analyst to develop, implement, and monitor student programming and progress. The teacher trains and works hand in hand with the behavior technicians to provide each student with a highly individualized program of instruction that is tailored to each student’s unique needs.
All of our classroom staff work under the direction of the Behavior Analyst and teacher. They receive on-going training in ABA and evidence-based teaching methods. They play an integral role in the daily instruction and the data collection that drives future programming. They work together with the Behavior Analyst, teacher and related services personnel (when available) to ensure that each student’s program is implemented effectively.
Students will work with several staff members throughout the course of programming. This helps to ensure generalization of skills and limits the disruption to students’ programming when there are changes in staffing.Each day, each student will work with several staff members. This helps to ensure generalization of skills and limits the disruption to students’ programming when there are changes in staffing.
P.A.L. (Peer Assisted Learning) Program is a program for neurotypical preschoolers. This program was developed because research shows that preschoolers acquire skills through play. Children with developmental delays, such as autism, may lack the skill to imitate their peers. The neurotypical child is coached to model desired behaviors, such as verbal language and play. Staff from S.T.A.G.E.S. who know the student and their programming, accompany the student and offer support, monitor reinforcement systems, and provide pre/post – teaching, create necessary material modifications, and collect data to ensure that the inclusion opportunity is meeting the needs of the student.
We use a variety of curricula to support the instruction for each child. All curriculums are evidence-based and research validated. A few of the curricula used are PEAK relational training system, STAR Program, VB-MAPP, and ABLLS-R. (This is not a comprehensive list.)
“Behavior Matters provided more than just a service to us, they provided our family with personal support. They were not only concerned on how my daughter was doing, but how our family was holding up, given the recent diagnosis. They went over and beyond their call of duty.”
A. Baldridge, ParentA. Baldridge
This preschool is just amazing! I’m a certified teacher, so I know what to look for in a school and its teachers. The teachers are loving and caring with all of the children and there is plenty for them to play with and explore. My daughter loved the school and its teachers!Michele Monastra, Mother
“Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the science of behavior. As with other sciences such as chemistry and physics, researchers in ABA have found that behaviors follow certain laws, certain predictable patterns. Through countless experiments Behavior Analyst have shown that an organism’s behavior can be predicted and controlled based on certain environmental variables.”
Jose Martinez-Diaz, Ph.D., BCBAFlorida Institute of Technology
ABA focuses on outcome rather than process. Behavior analysts continuously measure behavior to determine if progress is being made. Applied behavior analysis is data based and has the best scientifically demonstrated track record for teaching skills and replacing problem behavior with appropriate social skills.
Jose Martinez-Diaz, Ph.D., BCBA
Florida Institute of Technology
ABA is the science in which tactics derived from the principles of behavior are applied to improve socially significant behavior and experimentation is used to identify the variables responsible for the improvement in behavior. Dr. Vincent J. Carbone, Ed.D., BCBA-D provides an Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Dr Vincent Carbone Intensive Teaching on Vimeo
This video provides an illustration of Natural Environment Teaching with a young child with autism. This type of learning activity has become a recognized component of most ABA programs for children with autism. This program component is designed to transfer skills acquired in other learning activities to the naturally occurring settings experienced by most children. In addition, many skills such as manding (requesting) are best taught in environments that have naturally occurring reinforcing value for the learner.
DISCRETE TRIAL TRAINING
Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is a highly structured and intense form of ABA and typically occurs at a table. Each teachable moment is planned, separate, and distinct. Each target is typically repeated in a trial of 10. DTT is beneficial for students that require more repetition. The sequenced form of instruction has 3 steps: 1.SD (instruction) 2. Response 3. Consequence. Generalization is difficult in DTT and must be planned. Behavior Matters LLC uses DTT to introduce and teach skills and then quickly moves onto NET to help generalize the concept or skill.
PIVOTAL RESPONSE TRAINING
Pivotal Response Training (PRT) is another form of naturalistic ABA and is used to teach language, decrease disruptive/self-stimulatory behaviors, and increase social, communication, and academic skills by focusing on critical or pivotal behaviors that affect a wide range of behaviors. The primary pivotal behaviors are motivation and child’s initiations of communications with others. The goal of PRT is to produce positive changes in the pivotal behaviors, leading to improvement in communication skills, play skills, social behaviors and the child’s ability to monitor his own behavior. Motivational strategies include the variation of tasks, revisiting mastered tasks to ensure the child retains acquired skills, rewarding attempts, and the use of direct and natural reinforcement.
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT TRAINING
Natural Environment Training (NET) is a more natural form of utilizing ABA and is conducted in the child’s typical environment. Everyday household objects and toys are used as teaching materials and the rewards for correct responses are natural. The teacher has a curriculum (list of targets to teach) in mind and makes it portable. The targets are inserted in activities, games, and play. The child’s motivation and interests are a main factor in NET; most children do not recognize they are “working”. Generalization is built into this teaching strategy.
Play-Based Techniques which builds on a child’s own interests or obsessions, to develop relationships and social/communication skills.