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TAA Services

THE PROGRAM

 
The Avalon Academy provides much more than a consistent, safe, and supportive environment for children and youth with a wide range of diagnoses and high support needs. A systematic and evidence-based curriculum addresses not only the academic but also the motor, social, and communication needs of the individuals they serve. Additionally, Avalon has become a community of learning not only for the children, but for the families, professionals and training programs throughout the Bay Area which consistently place interns or attend trainings for access to exemplary practices.
— Gloria Soto, Ph.D.
 

Core Program: The Avalon Academy is a full-time educational option. The school year begins in September and ends in June. The school day runs from 9AM to 3PM, Monday through Friday.

Summer Program: The program takes place Monday through Friday for 6 weeks (July - August). It follows a similar format to the core program but with additional recreational-movement activities. Special events take place frequently, such as dance workshops, visits from the local zoo, swimming parties, etc. Typically developing siblings can attend periodically, providing an excellent opportunity for integration.

Philosophy & Interdisciplinary Approach: The Avalon Academy fosters the development of functional skills in order to enhance the quality of life in our students with movement disorders and complex communication needs. Avalon’s team works collaboratively to address the academic, communicative, social, emotional, and physical needs of our students. The ultimate goal for our students is to reach their full personal potential.

Academics: The Avalon Academy prides itself on providing its students with experiential learning opportunities. Our curriculum is interactive, individualized, and incorporates multi-sensory supports to promote concept development and engagement. Avalon’s teaching team is committed to utilizing research-based curricula. Additionally, we incorporate highly motivating teacher-made, individualized materials into our academic program.

Mainstreaming: The Avalon Academy has maintained a vibrant reverse mainstreaming program with a variety of local schools for the last decade.

 
 
 

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

The Avalon Academy strives to create intentional and meaningful experiences for our students. Every team member at Avalon seeks to know each student deeply in terms of their likes, dislikes, and how they can best access the curriculum. A multisensory approach is utilized to engage our students in a more holistic manner. Lessons and materials are adapted to be appropriate for our students’ unique sensory needs and preferences.

 The following services are integrated into the students daily schedules.

 

AMBIENCE

The environment at Avalon has been purposely designed to be calming and spacious. Children with disorders such as cerebral palsy are extremely sensitive to their surroundings as over-stimulation can cause uncomfortable involuntary movements or aggravate behavioral challenges, both of which can lead to distress. Visual clutter is minimal, which allows students with visual impairment to focus and use their vision efficiently. The ambience created is upbeat yet soothing which promotes good morale, emotional well-being and learning.


 

Movement

Unique to Avalon is the integration of movement education into all classroom activities, which enhances their motor-abilities in the real-world. A floor-based, group movement program is provided daily to facilitate motor-skill development. Whenever appropriate, students are provided with adapted seating during classroom activities. They are given numerous opportunities to be out of their wheelchair, with transitions that include using canes, walkers, standers, power wheelchairs, body scooters, and rolling techniques. Additionally, students routinely benefit from assisted bike rides along the neighboring Bayshore Trail on adapted tricycles. The ultimate goal is for students to reach their full potential in moving as independently and safely as possible.

 

MEAL-TIMES

While motor-skill development is central to improved education, health and quality of life, socialization and recreation are also considered essential components for our students to thrive. In particular, meal-times are social occasions during which staff and students eat together as a community. Many of the students have had challenges with eating and drinking, and Avalon staff are extremely adept at oral-motor and positioning techniques which ensures that meal-times are relaxed and fun. This in turn leads to healthy nutrition and promotes well-being.