MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A few years ago, Mount Vernon sent autistic students out of district, but that’s no longer the case.

With guidance from the Carbone Clinic, teachers at Rebecca Turner Elementary School use the Applied Behavior Analysis program to teach children with autism, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.

“If we want to increase a behavior, we reinforce it and if we want the behavior to decrease then we don’t reinforce and we give replacement behaviors,” teacher Pam Orlovitz said.

They start with basic tasks like sitting and staying focused before moving on to communication.

“It’s awesome, it breaks down the skills and it helps them learn the skills that are definitely necessary to move forward,” said teacher Kadeen Jarrett.

Principal Jamal Doggett has witnessed tremendous growth and improvement.

“It’s always important for any child to have consistency and have a home school where the staff knows them and they can grow together with the student population,” Doggett said. “Our students with autism participate in all activities with the regular student body…they’re not excluded. It’s a great way for our students in general education to learn tolerance of others.”

In March 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data showing 1 in 68 children in the U.S. had autism spectrum disorder.


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