Early Achievements is an intervention program, paired with a professional development program, designed to accelerate learning and improve outcomes for preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or other social and communication delays.
To maximize educational achievement and outcomes of young children with ASD and other social or communication delays, classroom instruction must be evidence-based and must target a core set of knowledge and skills that usually are not addressed adequately in existing preschool curricula. The Early Achievements intervention is an evidence-based approach to targeting such knowledge and skills in children.
Currently, most teachers learn about evidence-based instructional strategies by attending workshops. However, practice-based coaching also is needed to assist them in: (1) mastering the implementation of these strategies with students having diverse learning profiles; (2) aligning these strategies with their school’s existing curriculum; and (3) using these strategies to address their students’ IEP goals and accelerate child learning overall. The Early Achievements professional development program addresses these needs. To support teachers’ success in implementing the Early Achievements intervention, evidence-based adult learning principles and an evidence-based coaching model are used. The coaching model fosters teacher-coach alliance and partnership. Together they share in the joy of seeing students’ learning accelerate, and behavior improve.
The explicit knowledge that teachers gain about the Early Achievements instructional strategies equips them to communicate more effectively with parents about what and how children are learning. This fosters parent-teacher alliance and shared expectations for children’s learning and behavior at school. Through the Early Achievements professional development program, teachers become powerful agents of student change in their classroom.
As teachers become more powerful agents of change in their classrooms, they see their students’ learning accelerate, and behavior improve. This, in turn, can be highly energizing and fulfilling to teachers. Early Achievements helps to make the educational experience for teachers, children, and parents a more positive and productive one.
"Coaching is a unique process of human development, one that works to change a person's life for the better and help him/her achieve a number of specific objectives." Ian Berry, Coaching: Ask Better Questions, Become A Better Coach