Developmental Support in Schools

Our BCBAs and RBTs work with children in their everyday environments. Sometimes, this is a preschool or daycare center! We are proud of the respectful, collaborative relationships we have built within Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax counties.

If your child attends a private school or daycare, reach out for information on our school-based services. And for children attending public school, we are happy to meet with teachers and offer input on IEPs.

School-based services are ideal for children who

  • Do not advocate effectively for their wants and needs
  • Have trouble participating in group-based instruction
  • Require frequent prompting to stay on task
  • Need help to initiate or maintain play with peers

Push in or pull out?

Some therapies “push in” to the classroom, meaning that the therapist works with the child as he or she learns with the rest of the group. Some therapies “pull out” of the classroom, meaning that the therapist works one-on-one with the child away from the group.

Our overall goal is for your child to remain in the group with their peers and follow the regular curriculum. But sometimes we recommend a combination of both push in and pull out. When necessary, pull out services help children learn prerequisite skills for future success in group learning. 

We recommend pull out services for children who

  • Do not yet make spontaneous requests
  • Do not yet respond to simple questions or directions
  • Do not yet imitate simple actions
  • Wander away from the group or classroom
  • Engage in frequent self-stimulatory behavior during structured activities
  • Engage in dangerous, disruptive, or aggressive behavior

We recommend push in services for children who

  • Have trouble gaining attention from adults or peers
  • Do not yet easily join in group play
  • Do not yet play pretend
  • Do not yet make requests to peers or respond to peers’ requests
  • Wander away from group play after a few moments
  • Disengage from group-based instruction
  • Need prompting to complete transitions or classroom routines
  • Need prompting to complete simple pre-academic tasks
  • Engage in frequent self-stimulatory behavior during unstructured activities

Steps toward independence

Keep in mind that our goal is not to create the “best behaved” child in class! Some challenging behavior is developmentally-appropriate and expected. We want your child to learn and have fun with the other children, even if there are a few bumps in the road.

Our eventual goal is to fade away so that the child participates without extra help. We maintain open and frequent communication with school teams to ensure that children do not miss out on important group activities or become overly-reliant on their therapist. 

It is highly recommended that our team meets with the school team when initiating services. We also recommend check-ins at regular intervals. Collaboration helps ensure consistency and progress toward treatment goals.

And don’t forget; we love working with teachers and childcare providers! Contact us for information about our consultation services for schools or other organizations.

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