Children with Autism: Kinder – 6th Grade

Intermountain Academy provides innovative educational programming for children in grades K-6 with a primary educational diagnosis of autism in Southern Arizona.

Our model is grounded in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a well-researched and evidence-based framework for children with autism. We align our curriculum to Common Core Standards (Arizona’s College and Career Readiness Standards) using cutting edge technology, personalized curriculum and staff trained in special education and ABA.

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    Individualized Education - Curriculum

    Intermountain offers each student individualized curriculum using the latest research and best-practice guidelines. The Academy has three main Curriculum Components that meet the academic, social, communication, behavioral and physical needs of all of our students.

    STAR Autism Support/Links

    The STAR Program (Arick, Loos, Falco, Krug, 2004) teaches children with autism the critical skills identified by the National Research Council. The ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) instructional methods of discrete trial training, pivotal response training and teaching functional routines form the instructional base of this comprehensive program for children with autism.

    • The Links Curriculum (Arick, Hoffman, Magee-Arick, 2012) is a comprehensive curriculum designed to promote student independence in natural environments. The Links online system utilizes a curriculum-based assessment to individualize routines for every student.  The Links school and community lesson plans provide the user with the tools necessary to teach both individual skills and independence in daily routines.
    • The STAR Program and the Links Curriculum are grounded in evidence-based practices and have shown to be effective in many settings, including public school programs. These curricula transfer research into practice by providing teachers with the tools to implement a comprehensive program using the teaching strategies identified as most effective for students with significant learning challenges.

    Direct Instruction Click Link

    Direct Instruction is a teaching method rooted in applied behavior analysis and extensively tested and proven to turn all students into confident learners including at-risk, ESL, special education, and at-level students. It gives all teachers the power to reach them. And it gives schools a clear path to achieving and even surpassing Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

    There are three things that make the Direct Instruction method so powerful.

    • Design: Skills are introduced gradually, reinforced, and continually assessed, so no student can fall behind.
    • Delivery: Lessons are scripted and quickly paced. Teachers correct errors immediately and motivate students with positive reinforcement.
    • Documentation: Fifty years of independent research shows measurable success in all kinds of classrooms. 

    Project-Based Learning Click Link

    Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. In Gold Standard PBL, projects are focused on student learning goals and include Essential Project Design Elements:

    • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills - The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, communication, collaboration, and self-management. 
    • Challenging Problem or Question - The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
    • Sustained Inquiry - Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
    • Authenticity - The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
    • Student Voice & Choice - Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
    • Reflection - Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
    • Critique & Revision - Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
    • Public Product - Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.

    One Teacher with Multi-Level Classrooms

    Students with autism have various levels of functioning and academic abilities that do not necessarily correlate with age or grade level.

    • Intermountain Academy currently employs one teacher in each of its multi-grade classrooms who is proficient in ABA, as well as at least two trained technicians. This results in a maximum 3 to 1 student-to-teacher ratio. One-on-one student assistance is also available if needed.


    Intermountain Academy provides a specialized educational opportunity for children with primary diagnosis of autism, but we also serve families by making our innovative programming available to individuals who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

    Intermountain Academy

    401 N. Bonita Ave. Tucson, AZ 85745
    (520) 232-2900
    Office Hours: 8:00am to 4:00pm

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