Autism Specialized Programs

In Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) we provide a full continuum of special education services and placements for students who are eligible with an Individual Education Plan (IEP).

A Specialized Program, also known as a Self-Contained Class, is one component of the continuum. CVUSD offers Autism Specialized Programs for students with a disability that presents with difficulties in (one, some and/or all) social/pragmatic language, communication, academic achievement, behavior, sensory, restricted interests and resistance to change that interferes with their ability to access their education. Autism Specialized Programs serve students in Preschool through 12th grade, and up through age 22 for students working towards a certificate of completion.

Placement into one of our Autism Specialized Programs is discussed during an IEP meeting and is an IEP team decision. Our University Preschool (Be Me) campus supports preschool students ages 3 to 5 years old, Ladera STARS Academy and Maple Elementary School support students in grades Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through 5th grade, Redwood Middle School supports students in grades 6 through 8, Thousand Oaks High School supports students in grades 9 through 12. Our post-secondary program supports students who are working towards a certificate of completion up through age 22.

To sufficiently support our students in the Autism Specialized Programs, we maintain a low teacher to student ratio of approximately one teacher to 10 students and staff each class with two paraeducators, who, under the direct supervision of the classroom teacher, assist students. Additionally, our related service providers (e.g. School Psychologists, Speech Language Pathologists, Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Occupational Therapists, and Adapted Physical Education Specialists) work closely with the special education teacher and paraeducators to provide modeling and consultation to implement strategies that specifically address each students’ needs in the Specialized Program setting.

CVUSD’s Autism Specialized Programs use curriculum aligned with common core standards and provide accommodations and/or modifications based upon the needs of each student as indicated in their IEP. The Autism Specialized Programs provide specialized academic instruction using highly structured, visual, and language supports integrated throughout the instructional day. The classroom teacher and paraeducators are always working to maximize the student’s access and opportunities in a general education setting. The Autism Specialized Program staff utilizes strategies to support students’ progress in their academics, language, sensory, fine/gross motor, social communication, and behavioral skills such as, but not limited to:

  • Modeling
  • Visual supports
  • Social Skills Training
  • Social stories
  • Communication picture boards/devices
  • Coping skills
  • Movement/vestibular input
  • Tactile input
  • Positive Behavior Supports
  • High reinforcement frequency
  • Frequent repetition
  • Self-management
  • Functional Communication strategies
  • Naturalistic Teaching
  • Prompting
  • Peer Supports
  • Activities for hand strength/fine motor coordination
  • Bilateral integration (e.g. in-hand manipulation, tripod pinch/pencil grip, scissor skills, implementation of equipment adaptations, eye-hand coordination)