Every STEPS program is designed and implemented in cooperation with our guiding principles:
- Honoring the child. We focus on a person-centered philosophy. Our team of teachers and therapists take time to develop a meaningful relationship with each child: it is our belief that in order to teach a child, we need to understand the child as a whole. This includes addressing the unique sensory, emotional and communication needs of each student.
- Believing in the potential of each child. At STEPS, we presume the competence of each child and understand that intellect is not measured by the ability to verbally communicate.
- Recognizing the importance of creating a positive atmosphere. We understand that creating a positive atmosphere promotes success and achievement in the children that we serve.
- Recognizing the value of using research-based teaching methods, as well as collecting and analyzing data in order to determine the effectiveness of methods we use. We believe that this can be successfully combined with a humanistic, person-centered approach in how we view and understand the student.
- Understanding that the children that we service need to be taught, not changed. We honor the individual differences that each student brings.
- Educating the community on autism. It is our goal to educate the community on autism so the individuals that we service can successfully participate in community activities outside of STEPS. It is our belief that if more people understand autism, they are more likely to recognize and accept mutual differences and similarities.
- Interest based curriculum. The STEPS academic curriculum is inspired by each student’s unique interests and is individualized to meet their specific needs. We challenge our students to grow academically by continually exposing them to age-appropriate curriculum.
At STEPS, our pillars of education are:
Self-Worth, Trusting in Oneself and Others, Empower for Advocacy, Purpose and Passion, and Service to Others