The DCIU Autistic Support programs offers a variety of unique programmatic features that support the needs of students on the autism spectrum that include communication, behavioral, social, and sensory.
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Based Program Models – DCIU autistic support programs utilize ABA based strategies to aid in goal acquisition.
- Speech and Language Support Services- Using evidence-based practice, collaborative practice, and a continuum of service delivery models, including classroom-based and small group or individual sessions, DCIU speech and language therapists address students’ communication needs to support academic, vocational, and social goals related to PA’s performance standards. The speech-language therapists lead our school teams in the provision and advocacy of alternative and augmentative communication systems (AAC) and facilitate students' uses of AAC to ensure the students’ rights to full communication access.
- Research Based Literacy Program – DCIU Autistic Support Programs utilize research-based literacy programs to teach reading. Elementary and secondary classrooms use a variety of of multi-sensory approaches to reading that include: Reading Mastery/Language Mastery, Adapted Stories, and Read Naturally.
- Higher Education Partnerships – The Autistic Support Program provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to observe in classrooms, complete intern and practicum assignments, and student teaching experiences. The program hosts students from a variety of local collages and universities.
- Community Based Instruction – Students enjoy a variety of community based instructional programs that provide opportunities to learn and practice leisure skills, social skills, communication skills, and functional living skills. Outings are based on developmental needs.
- Supported and Paid Employment – Secondary students, 16-21, are afforded the opportunity to learn vocational skills while supported by program and DCIU OPTIONS staff in the community. Students learn and practice prevocational skills in the school setting that are later replicated in a variety of community settings.
- Special Events are scheduled throughout the school year and include assemblies, dances, plays and performances, graduation ceremony, and Field Day.
- Special Area Subjects – Physical Education/Art/Music is provided by PDE certified staff. Students attend special area subjects daily. special area subject teachers incorporate student and program objectives into their content areas.