Colors Program for Autism Receives Commendations at Easter Seals New York

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Funded by the Share and Care Foundation, a pilot version of the WebTeam-owned Colors Program was run at Easter Seals New York’s (Easter Seals NY) Project Explore Child Development Center, helping preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders begin their journey toward mainstream education.

Marianne Gribbon Easter Seals New York

Marianne Gribbon, Director of Education Services, Project Explore, Easter Seals New York

We have had positive response from both teachers and the children regarding the S.H.A.N.E.S.H Colors Program. We look forward to incorporating technology to enhance our children’s learning process.

The kiosk-based Colors Program is in sync with the app-based iLearnNEarn Program, which is widely in use in hundreds of thousands of homes, schools and therapy centers in the United States and abroad.

The main goal of the Program is to expedite the learning process for preschoolers, so they can receive mainstream education as soon as they are ready. The Program has so far garnered positive response from students and teachers alike, inspiring WebTeam to take their endeavors to the next level and work on developing iLearnNEarn 2nd Generation to deliver structured, curriculum-based intervention to individuals of all ages.

The pilot program at Easter Seals New York’s Child Development Center (Project Explore) in Valhalla, NY was implemented over a period of one year. It gave 4 students between ages of three to five years and their teachers an opportunity to customize the Colors Learning system to suit their individual learning styles and track their progress. Speaking about the Colors Program, ESNY teaching staff Fernanda BuzoCarvalho said, “I found the program to be extremely beneficial, especially for those kids acquiring language skills. The tactile approach of the program really helps the kids provide the correct answer and really motivates them to become more involved in the program and participate in the next activity.”

Getting special needs pupils to focus on a given task can be extremely challenging for parents and teachers. The Colors Program was generously lauded by ESNY teacher Alana Fleischman, who said it helps a lot to have a program that repeatedly mentions the child’s name, thereby instantly grabbing his/her attention.

“My student really has benefited from the Program since the beginning… it keeps him more focused on the Program and the activities that he is doing. He seems to be a lot more focused on the computer program… when he is doing in the S.H.A.N.E.S.H. Program, as opposed to in the classroom. A lot of times, he has a hard time just focusing on what he needs to do,” observed teacher assistant Andrew Klein.

S.H.A.N.E.S.H. Colors is designed to supplement special needs education at homes and in the classroom. The activities that are incorporated in the Program include a lot of colorful, animated components that kids on the spectrum who are “sensory-oriented” love to explore.

The web-based Program is also very helpful in evaluating the learning needs and tracking the progress of young learners with autism.

Rewarding positive behavior is an integral part of the applied behavior analysis model of autism intervention. On this note, ESNY teacher Fernanda BuzoCarvalho said, “What’s nice about the S.H.A.N.E.S.H. Colors Program is that it really does meet the children right where they are, and then pushes them to try harder and then rewards them for their achievement even if they need that moderate level of support.”

“We have had positive response from both teachers and the children regarding the S.H.A.N.E.S.H Colors Program. We look forward to incorporating technology to enhance our children’s learning process. The goal here at Project Explore is to provide our children with a high level of education and learning skills, so that they are able to successfully integrate into their elementary schools and be successful in the mainstream classroom,” concluded Marianne Gribbon, Director of Education Services, Easter Seals New York’s Project Explore Child Development Center.

About WebTeam Corporation

WebTeam Corporation (WTC), now a subsidiary of Rangam Consultants Inc. (RCI), was founded in 2007 – at a time when autism intervention was primarily limited to using traditional methods of teaching. Classroom teachers also had recourse to presentations and worksheets, in order to effectively tackle problematic behaviors, lack of social skills, and communication challenges.

Back in 2007 and the ensuing couple of years, WebTeam was busy experimenting with a few technologies to ascertain if teachers could benefit from using touchscreen kiosks in the classroom. The experimentation led to the development of S.H.A.N.E.S.H. Colors Program, which, together with the app-based iLearnNEarn Program that was put to use in 2011, charted a new horizon in autism treatment by extending classroom intervention to homes and therapy centers globally.

About Easter Seals New York

Easter Seals New York has been at the forefront of providing outstanding services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals New York creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. In 2012, Easter Seals New York directly touched the lives of more than 20,000 individuals in New York State.

About Project Explore

Project Explore Child Development Center provides quality, inclusive early education and universal inclusive pre-kindergarten where students with disabilities are educated alongside the general education students. Project Explore also offers after-school programs and child care that support all children and families in Valhalla, NY and the surrounding communities.

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