Class Now Open For Students With High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome 

Big Springs School offers a unique program for students diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome or High Functioning Autism. The class is co-taught by a special education teacher and school psychologist who have experience working with a variety of students on the spectrum. The class is designed for parents who are looking for an appropriate educational placement for their child. Many students on the high end of the spectrum do not belong in special day classes as their academic skills are too high. However, they struggle to be successful within a general education class due to their sensory, social, and behavioral deficits. Many general education teachers do not understand the unique processing and response patterns of students on the spectrum and try to implement the same behavioral interventions used with typical developing peers. Inappropriate placement and interventions can lead to frustration, increased behavior, and a lack of academic gains commensurate with a child’s true learning potential. The goal of the class is to mainstream students back into a traditional general education classroom once they have gained the necessary skills to be successful.

Academically, students will be taught grade level standards keeping in mind their exceptional needs and individual strengths. Lessons and directions will include visual support to enhance learning. In addition, they will receive occupational therapy, language therapy, and social skills training if deemed appropriate. This program is not designed to be a remedial program but rather one which acknowledges and teaches to the unique needs of each individual child.

Socially, this class will seek to improve each student’s social interactions, impulse control, flexible thinking, time management skills, compliance, emotional regulation, peer awareness, and a variety of other skills necessary to build and maintain friendships and succeed academically in the traditional classroom. Social rules and norms will be explicitly taught using social stories, comic strip conversations, role playing and modeling. The students will participate in social groups where they can practice their newly learned skills in a safe, controlled environment. The psychologist and teacher will continuously collaborate with one another to understand the why behind occurring behaviors. Once this is determined, they will modify the environment and/or situation to ensure that every child is successful and reaches both their academic and social potential.

The program will be offered in conjunction with Big Springs School located in Temecula, CA. The student to teacher ratio will be no more than 12 to one with additional support by the school psychologist, speech and language therapists, and occupational therapists all under the same roof!

If you would like any additional information, please call Big Springs Educational Therapy Center and School at (951) 719-3738. Reservations are currently being accepted and the class will be considered full at 12 students.


Leslie Huscher - M.A. Special Education
Jennifer O'Malley - M.A. School Psychology, NCSP, BCBA