Autism

SAIL/COAST Programs

Department Head for Autism and Behavioral Intervention Services

Lisa Edmonson, MSed, BCBA, LABA
EdmonsonL@worcesterschools.net
508-799-3055

Program Description:

SAIL (Specialized Approaches to Individual Learning) is designed for grades pre-kindergarten through sixth grade diagnosed with a.  The principles and approaches are based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) methodologies.  When a student is found eligible for services in the SAIL program, the student will be supported by a Special Education teacher and a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) if needed.  The student’s placement could range from fully included to a substantially separate classroom.  Other supports may be provided as well. 

COAST (Creative Opportunities for Adolescents on the Secondary Tier) is designed for grades 7-12. The principles and approaches are based on ABA methodologies with a focus on education and the transition to life after high school. When a student is found eligible for the COAST program, the student will be supported by a Special Education teacher and a BCBA if needed. The student’s placement could range from fully included to a substantially separate classroom. Other supports may be provided as well.

Consideration for Autism Programs:

Common traits associated with students requiring autism program may include:

  • Limited verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • Difficulty with social/interpersonal skills which significantly impairs the student from participating in general education
  • Behaviors that frequently interfere with the students’ ability to participate in general education and have not responded to individualized classroom behavior interventions
  • Academic skills that are below grade level requiring tasks to be broken down into simple components and programming based on the principles of applied behavior analysis
  • Educational disability of Autism or related disability

If you suspect that your child needs a SAIL or COAST program ask your child’s teacher, school administrator or BCBA about how to initiate the screening process.

Staffing:

Teacher of Moderate Disability - provide high quality instructional experience to students with moderate disabilities through creativity, resourcefulness and sound judgment consistent with the curriculum frameworks, standards and the rules and regulations of the Worcester Public Schools.  Students are taught compensatory strategies using multi-sensory techniques to enable them to reach their full potential as members of the Worcester Public School community.

Instructional Assistant - support the instruction of all students by reinforcing lessons with individual students and small groups of students and providing behavioral support based on ABA methodology.  Tasks and duties are assigned and directed by the classroom teacher, BCBA and other professional staff.

Board Certified Behavior Analyst – applies behavioral principals to produce socially significant improvements in learning by utilizing evidence based practices to improve students’ ability to regulate their behavior and improve social skills across a variety of settings within the school and community. 

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