Bridges Learning Center is a non-profit Christian school for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders.The program operates Monday-Friday from 8:30 to 3:30, year round. Our mission is to provide a safe, healthy and stimulating learning environment for children affected by autism, through a combination of proven therapies that help these children achieve meaningful participation in all life experiences. Although our goal is to transition our students back into a “typical” school system, Bridges works closely with our parents to ensure the best out come for their child.
Bridges currently operates out of a building in downtown Columbus. The building consists of two classrooms, a kitchen/dining area, a full playground, a small school bus, a “sensory room,” an observation room, separate boys and girls’ bathrooms, nine classroom computers, and two Smart Boards. Staff has grown from a single teacher to a full-time staff including: state-accredited teachers specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorders, a full-time office manager, a program director, and the contracted services of licensed behavioral, speech, occupational and physical therapists. Bridges Learning Center currently schools eight students. The teacher student ratio is standard at 4:1. Our teachers develop an individualized treatment plan as well as academic materials based on the information provided by ABA and ABLLS-R tests. The daily routine is that of a typical school system. The students are able to come in, put their things away in their cubby or locker and then have a seat at their desk or table in order to begin the days assignments.
Early Intervention Classroom focus:
- To begin communication through an array of means (verbal, sign language, picture systems) for everyday needs.
- Being able to understand and follow basic school rules
- Begin social interactions amongst all staff and students at Bridges, especially same age peers.
- Begin teaching adaptive living skills such as but not limited to: toileting, independent eating, dressing, washing hands, etc.
- Begin to teach vocational skills such as but not limited to: being responsible for ones belongings, such as: backpack, jacket, lunch, etc.
- Learn age appropriate developmental academics, some including but not limited to: numbers/counting, letters/reading, colors, matching, patterns, tracing/writing, etc.
Intermediate Classroom focus:
- Working heavily on attending skills during academic work time in four 20-minute periods before lunch time.
- Independent, 1:1, 1:2, and group work are facilitated during each 20-minute period.
- Eliminating all inappropriate behavior.
- Continuing the development of appropriate social skills.
Transition Classroom focus:
Individualized transition programs will be implemented with each student to acclimate back into the public school setting. Once each student has entered the Transition Classroom they will begin their individualized program to acclimate back into the public school system while continuing to maintain their ABLLS-R goals.