What is the profile of the type of child that All Children Academics serves?
All Children Academics serves high-functioning children who need individualized attention. Students of All Children Academics have diagnoses of ADHD, anxiety, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), speech and language deficits, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ACA also serves children without a diagnosis who need our services to increase social awareness and academic strength. All of our students come to us needing social and emotional development, with an emphasis placed on small group learning. Our students are children who often don’t qualify for services, those who are quietly slipping through the cracks, or those who exhibit behaviors in large group settings. All Children Academics is devoted to serving the children and families who will benefit from social, emotional and behavioral development to help them succeed.
Your class sizes are small, shouldn’t my child be in a class with LOTS of kids?
There is often a misconception that children learn social skills and make friends when they are with LOTS of kids. This is incorrect. In large settings, children are often overloaded, lost and confused, displaying behaviors of aggression or defensiveness. With our small group environment, we allow children the opportunity to feel safe in social and academic settings, and we teach students the appropriate ways to behave in these settings. With one adult to every three students, teachers participate in student-to-student interactions, supporting them in friendship-making skills and appropriate classroom behavior. Throughout the day, both classes combine for a total of 18-20 kids. We feel this is great practice for developing self-regulation and social skills.
What is different about your program as compared to other programs?
Our program is one-of-a-kind in that we are the only private, early intervention, special education program in the Bay Area for high-functioning kids. Our personal approach, family collaboration and home-like setting sets us apart from traditional early intervention, special education. Our educated professionals and new curriculums keep us updated with the newest and best techniques for early intervention. We educate children in a small group setting and use a “Social Thinking” curriculum as our baseline. Our teachers are highly educated in special education, social skills, early education, sensory processing disorders, behavioral intervention, autism spectrum disorders and ADHD. We strive first and foremost to create a safe environment for children, and second, to allow children to learn in a hands-on, active way. Our outdoor space is unique to our program and gives children an additional way to learn, develop friendships, release tension and develop gross motor strength. Our indoor climbing wall, yoga, cooking, art and music classes all add to what makes the All Children Academics experience unique.
My child has behavior problems at his current school. Can you help?
Yes. We find positive solutions for behavior problems that often aren’t behaviors at all, but rather, a survival technique triggered by their environment. We advise that children with behavior problems attend our program full time for one year to resolve and develop the tools they need to address the underlying problems. Children who come to us with behavior problems often do not exhibit these problems while they are in our classrooms. Because our classrooms are equipped to nurture children with sensory needs, providing individualized education in a small group environment, behaviors are often eliminated. Our team works to create positive behaviors, as well as to further the child’s social and emotional development, so they will feel confident and safe in a large group setting.
I want my 4-year-old in Kindergarten. Won’t my child be more successful with older children?
Parents often feel that their children will be more successful if they are placed in a group of older children. This is a misconception and can be damaging for a child that is learning social skills and developing confidence. If a younger child is placed with an older group of students, that child is immediately viewed as younger and may not be appealing to the other students. All Children Academics places children with other children of the same developmental age, who share the same interests and are developing at the same rate. We place children into groups where they can be successful and can relate to the other children in the group. We often have groups where children range in age from 1 to 3-years-old. Rushing a 4-year-old into Kindergarten, or a younger child into any grade, often reflects a parent’s need, not the student’s need. We believe in following each individual child’s needs and building his or her skills based upon those individual needs.
How long should my child attend ACA?
Our unique program is not a “quick fix,” nor is any other specialized program for your child. Each child is different, and while some children warm up immediately, some take six months to feel safe and comfortable. Our staff works with parents to determine, year-by-year, what the best transition plan is for each child. Our top-quality programs allow students to stay with us through 5th grade, and we encourage interested families to do so. Our program can grow along with your child and provide more advanced education as he or she develops.
Will my child learn negative behaviors since all of the children are working on goals?
The students of All Children Academics come to us with varying needs and different backgrounds. All students are here because they learn best in a small group setting and find our individualized program an advantage to their success. We place students in groups that will complement each child’s progress, and we make sure that children’s personalities within a group are a good fit. As in life, there are bound to be issues, problems and negative exchanges between students. With our high teacher to student ratio, we are able to greatly limit these moments and use them as a “learning experience” for our students. Part of our program is to teach children to be independent thinkers, follow good judgment, and ignore the influence of negative behavior. We are confident in saying that our program will teach your child positive behaviors and they will grow emotionally and socially.
All Children Academics mission is to enrich the lives of young people through social skills instruction, academic support, and early childhood education. Through the use of small group instruction, sensory integration, social thinking, and academic creativity, teachers work to create positive relationships with students.