A Positive Experience, An Innovative Approach
- 1 Research-Based Educational and Therapeutic Programming
- 2 A True Partnership Between Parents and Educators
- 3 Home-Based Support and Programming
- 4 Community-Based Instruction
- How to get started with The Vista School
Vista’s services conform to the seven defining characteristics of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). All Vista program services are (1) applied, targeting problems that are important to the child, directly impact his/her level of functioning, or are socially significant. (2) Behaviors selected for instruction are described in observable and measurable terms. Instructor behavior is a critical component to behavior change plans. Interventions are (3) analytic, seeking to define and use functional relations to modify behavior and teach skills. Procedures are (4) technological, precisely defined, and replicable. Techniques are (5) conceptually systematic, founded on the basic principles of behavior and learning, and (6) effective – they must produce clinical/socially significant changes. Finally, behavior change must be (7) general, lasting over time and appearing in other environments. Vista is a Precision Teaching center. Services are supported by the Competent Learner Model, which enhances our ability to meet student needs across school, community, and home environments.
The Vista School is a collaborative effort of dedicated parents, educators, and mental health professionals. The Vista School® exists to bring world-class autism education to Central Pennsylvania. It is the first and only such school that exclusively meets the educational and therapeutic needs of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Vista seeks to develop close working relationships with each family through home-based services and other training opportunities for parents. This component of Vista's program also promotes a consistent line of communication between school and home. Knowledge of what is occurring in all environments is essential to developing effective treatment plans. The home component enables the team to address behaviors that may be home-specific and assists parents in gaining the skills needed to address such behaviors effectively. Parents are trained in procedures successfully implemented in the center-based program for independence in leisure activity, adaptive communication, and behavior management systems. Most importantly, the home component aims to reduce the severity of the student's symptoms in the home and, in doing so, improve the home life of both the student and his or her family.
At Vista, the community is as important a learning environment for its students as the home or the classroom. Vista's unique Community-Based Instruction ("CBI") Program provides its students with opportunities to put their skills to use at area restaurants, grocery stores, libraries, parks, and other public places. The goals of Vista's CBI Program include promoting the student's independence and ability to engage in his or her community and to further improve the quality of life of the student's entire family by better enabling them to enjoy the community activities many of us take for granted.