An Overview Of What We Do

Bridging the Gap (BTG) is an educational program based on the core principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) that seeks to provide an appropriate and productive classroom environment for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As a program of HOPE Academy, BTG works in conjunction with HOPE Reach to ensure classrooms are founded in behavioral principles and employing evidence-based instruction methods. This series of classrooms prepares students to either transition into mainstream or inclusion-based classrooms, or, transition to the next grade level within the BTG program.  Emphasis is placed on group and social skills within a classroom environment, with an individualized curriculum approach to teaching academics.  Teachers are able to provide an active educational experience for all students.

CLASSROOM SETUP

Bridging the Gap (BTG) is a program designed for children and teens on the autism spectrum.  Classrooms maintain a 4:1 student to teacher ratio and are designed to develop academic, classroom readiness, behavioral, and social skills using a foundation of ABA principles.  Classrooms are available from Preschool to Middle School, maintaining the same behavioral foundation but expanding the academic and social scope as students progress.  BTG classrooms utilize academic curriculums across all grades that are based on both Common Core and South Carolina State Standards.  The scope and sequence for each curriculum is utilized to ensure that building block skills are taught in a way to support continued skill growth throughout the BTG program.  Teachers individualize materials and goals to best meet the needs of students where they are in each curriculum.  These curriculums include:  Eureka Math, Explode the Code (spelling), Reading A-to-Z, Writing A-to-Z, and SkillStream (social skills).  

HISTORY

Bridging the Gap was launched as a pilot program in June of 2011 with the goal of improving classroom skills for 7 students. Through the combination of the principles of ABA and a classroom setting, instructors were able to increase group responding, increase individual response to group instructions, reduce problem behaviors during transitions, and teach students in a group instruction format. BTG continues to grow and now includes six separate classrooms, ranging from ages 3-14.

TECHNOLOGY

BTG places a big emphasis on the use of technology in classrooms in preparation for students future placements and professional aspirations. Currently, the Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd-3rd Grade, 4th-5th Grade, and Middle School classrooms use a Promethean Board for group instruction and academic guided practice. The 4th-5th Grade and Middle School classrooms also practice computer skills, such as composing and sending emails. Our classroom teachers use iPads for data collection and curriculum resources.