A special needs preschool classroom prepares kids for kindergarten who are on the autism spectrum or have language delays. The difference in readiness allows them the make adjustments to school and be ready for socialization in a mainstream classroom.

Special Needs Preschool Classroom Prepares Kids for KindergartenAt Hilltop Elementary School in Marshall County, staff have helped children with special needs adjust to the classroom for the past seven years, using applied behavioral analysis.

Teacher Stacey Shay offers several social interaction activities along with vocabulary and communication lessons.  The class includes five children on the autism spectrum ages 3 and four.

Daily activities include picture exchange communication systems. Children whose communication skills are limited can communicate non verbally with another person by giving them a picture of something they want or are thinking of.

Other strategies include social stories.  These are written examples of expected interactions and behavior.

“This is a great system as the kids have lunch, music and library and other interaction with their neurotypical peers, which is really great because when you have a child with autism you don’t want them in a small cubicle all day with only adults,” Shay said. “Our students are used to meeting different children in different settings and I think that’s why we’re so successful.”

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