Even though he has only been there a couple of months we can see the improvement.-- Shelia and Robert S.
What is the Newton Learning Center?
Opened in the fall of 2008, the Newton Program is a social-cognitive educational program geared towards educating students on the upper end of the Autistic Spectrum. Our students are intelligent, unique, fun-loving, and diverse. However, regardless of their unique qualities and varied diagnoses, they all have one thing in common: difficulties navigating the social realm.
In The Newton Program we put a strong emphasis on teaching social thinking - not just social skills. The difference is that "social skills" are a scripted set of behaviors, while learning to think socially will help students to become more aware of the world around them and how their behavior affects others.
Students take a daily social thinking class and because of the team-teaching model that is employed, the concepts they learn in this class are integrated into their entire school day, through all their academic classes.
What is Social Thinking?
Social thinking is teaching social skills to students who do not intuitively possess the social skills to navigate in a social environment. It is following unwritten social rules that exist in one's environment. Good social skills means following unwritten social rules of one's environment.
An example would be knowing when to say "excuse me" when two people are talking, even though there is something you want to say right away. Social skills involve more than direct language based interactions.
The curriculum that we use here is based on the Michelle Garcia Winner curriculum which helps our children to learn how to share space with others, how to think about others in a shared environment, and learning how to regulate one's own behavior to other people's thoughts or expectations.
Here at the Newton Learning Center we incorporate language, visual and cognitive reinforcements throughout each class, and help each student formulate their own self-monitoring program. Enrollment
The Newton Learning Center is a Private Special Education School for children who demonstrate Aspergers Syndrome and/or who are high on the Autism Spectrum with similar issues to those with Aspergers. Students can be placed privately by parents (scholarships available for those that qualify) or be placed by their school district (with an IEP).
For more information on enrollment or to schedule a visit to view our program, please contact RJ Larrieu at (775) 358-0808 or email at email@example.com
Our Belief Statement
We strive to implement a quality education with an individualized component for students who have been unable to have their needs met in other educational settings. Not only are individual learning differences identified and used in planning each child's program, but the program is also designed to meet the student's social/emotional needs.
Enhancement of self-esteem is an important part of the Newton Learning Center's program. The Newton Learning Center's teaching staff works in conjunction with Counselors, Administration, and Parents to establish a comprehensive educational plan for each student.
Letter from the Newton Learning Staff
The Newton Learning Center would like to welcome you to our school. These special school years are important ones in a student's academic career and to his/her assuming a responsible role in our society; let us work together with patience, respect, understanding, and a commitment to help students grow and achieve their goals toward a successful future.
The Newton Learning Center will be a place where students can be given the time to build their social skills, social thinking and awareness which will help them to thrive academically. It is important to us as educators to give our students every opportunity to develop social skills at their OWN speed.
Giving them the nurturing support that they need to grow and excel in every capacity. This can be done by allowing our staff and students the time to forge a trusting relationship in an atmosphere that will help our students develop trust in others.
One of the characteristics of the Newton Learning Center is to instill social skills which help our students to eventually succeed in a mainstream environment. The way in which this is accomplished is through making social thinking the most important part of the program.
The Newton Learning Center sees itself as a helpmate to the school districts, as co-partners in giving these students the social capabilities needed to return to a mainstream school with all the tools needed to go on and have a successful academic future.
The tools that the students learn in social thinking is integrated in all aspects of the students day, and with nurturing , encouragement, and re-direction from teachers and staff that KNOW and UNDERSTAND the unique needs of students on the Autistic Spectrum these students blossom both socially and academically. It is imperative that these students have teachers and staff who fully understand their struggles, and how hard they try to accomplish simple things that most of us take for granted.
Mainstream schools can be overwhelming for these students because what is expected and assumed in mainstream schools may be a daunting task for someone with Autism. The Newton Learning Center is fully aware that the little things that seem so easy for those that are not Autistic can be seen as an insurmountable task for those with Autism.
We here at the Newton Learning Center are dedicated to the ideals of Autistic children reaching their full potential. Loving them, teaching them, and guiding them to a place of fulfillment, helping them to believe in themselves as much as we as educators believe in them. We know and have seen these children reach goals that others never thought possible.
The Newton Learning Center is a unique learning environment where teachers see and believe in miracles, and parents who dared to hope see their children grow into confident and secure young people who have been given tools to help them fulfill their dreams.
~ The Newton Learning Center