Our work with children on the autism spectrum is based on Transformation Education, an organizational philosophy that guides the creation of a culture to transmit the values and life skills necessary for a successful life. We believe that life is a journey of personal growth and enlightenment that comes from the continuous struggle and search for meaningful responses to life's challenges. Our mindset is to socialize and educate our students.
Additionally, we base our work with students on:
- Neuroscience: teaches us how the brain takes in and processes what the environment provides. One lesson from neuroscience is that children do not thrive in environments driven by pathology.
- Cognitive/behavioral theory: explores what is getting in the way of the brain processing the stimuli from the environment. We ask the question "why" a student processes stimuli the way he does, and "why" she learns the way she does.
- Individualized planning and interventions: because every child learns and processes differently, our challenge is to learn how they do so and modify our approaches to fit each child's uniqueness.
- Creating physical environments in our schools and classrooms that are compatible with the science of learning.
- Creating a school culture aligned with the values and beliefs of The Children's Guild and focusing on the context in which the faculty problem solve, rather than how the children act.
Our approach is not a medical model based on pathology and "curing" the child. But rather, we believe that education and socialization are more positive and effective approaches. We challenge our students to engage in and react to their environment and the many messages it gives, rather than try and avoid or suppress these messages.
Throughout our history of working with children, we have refined and demonstrated our ability to take these complex ideas and apply and transmit them in ways that allow parents and teachers to use them in everyday life. In partnership with parents, teachers, family members and the community, we really do believe we can make the seemingly impossible possible.