Montessori offers an approach that children with autism respond to positively. While all parents worry about their children’s early education and development, parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) contend with an entirely different set of concerns. Parents of children with ASD tend to be less centered on their child learning advanced skills and more focused on their child cultivating communication skills in a supportive environment. The need for a more sensitive, child-centered approach than traditional classroom settings provide may be necessary for children on the autism spectrum. Children of all abilities respond positively to the Montessori approach.
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Traditional classroom settings can be challenging for children with special needs and can even create further obstacles to their growth and development. At Modern and Mindful ABA Therapies, we know how to bring Montessori and autism together to achieve the best results possible for the children we serve.
At Modern and Mindful ABA Therapies, we bring a Montessori Method philosophy to all of the children who walk in our doors– and everyone benefits.
Why are Montessori and autism therapy a good fit?
Just as ABA therapy is child-led, the Montessori Method is very child-centered. Giving children the choice of what they want to work on removes the resistance that makes children with ASD challenging to work with. In addition to not forcing children to do things, there are other unique aspects to Montessori. Autism can make children more prone to repetitive behaviors that pose a problem in traditional classrooms.
In a Montessori setting, children can go back to learning materials as many times as they like. Being allowed to make their own choices and adhere to comfortable patterns builds confidence and increases independence. Even the best home-school curriculum for high functioning autism can be difficult to implement as it is a curriculum with a set sequence. Using Montessori for autism removes many of the obstacles to learning that traditional settings reinforce.
How does MMAT combine Montessori and autism therapy?
Modern and Mindful ABA Therapies provides autism therapy in a Montessori environment using Montessori Methods. Montessori provides a calm, nurturing environment rich with sensory learning tools– both things that appeal to children diagnosed with ASD. However, unlike Montessori, where children are in a group environment, all children at MMAT have constant one-on-one attention and supervision from their therapist. This gives them the freedom and confidence to interact in a group if they choose, with the safety of a trusted adult close by.
For children on the autism spectrum, Montessori also offers the benefit of a natural environment. Instead of a clinical or classroom environment, a Natural Environment Teaching (NET) or “real-life” setting prepares children for day-to-day life. By employing familiar objects such as real dishes and utensils, Natural environments help autistic children develop skills that apply to various different environments.
How do I get my child started with Montessori for autism?
The first step towards enrolling your child in a program is to take a tour of the Mindful and Modern ABA Therapies facility nearest you to see if our facility is a good fit for your family. If you decide that MMAT is the right place for your child, then you must schedule an assessment with us to get a clinical diagnosis. During the assessment, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst will spend 15-30 minutes working with and observing your child in order to determine whether they have ASD. Once your child has been diagnosed, the process of being approved by your insurance company begins, and once you are approved, you may enroll your child in therapy. Once your child is enrolled, the BCBA will create a treatment plan specific to your child, and they will be paired with an RBT for their treatment.