Step By Step Academy Is Chosen by Marion City Schools to Create a Program to Deliver Intensive Behavioral Treatments to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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New Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI) Classroom Will Ensure Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders Receive the Specialized Treatment Needed to Mainstream Back Into Traditional Classroom Settings

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Step By Step Academy Inc., a leading provider of integrated behavioral intervention, education, and related services designed to support the ongoing needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), will open a new intensive behavioral intervention (IBI) classroom in Marion City Schools on August 22, 2012. This program was a result of the superintendent of Marion City Schools recognizing SBSA’s demonstrated ability and success in collaborating and delivering customized programs with superior outcomes for students with ASD. Recognizing the importance and benefits of teaching children within their home community, this partnership was established in July 2012. The program is SBSA’s third IBI classroom in a school setting. The Marion City School classroom will serve children with ASD from kindergarten to third grade, Monday through Friday, following the school calendar.

The relationship between SBSA and Marion City Schools developed as a result of advocacy from a parent with a child enrolled in SBSA’s program who drove one and a half hours each way to access the best care for her son. Seeking to provide the same level of care received by her son at SBSA for other children, she pushed for the creation of a similar program in a school setting in convenient and familiar surroundings. She approached the Marion City superintendent about establishing a program that uses the principles and strategies of applied behavior analysis (ABA) in their schools. SBSA’s commitment to excellence was evident to the superintendent and the Special Education Director, and in June 2012, they moved to create an immediate partnership and establish the first IBI classroom for the 2012-2013 school year.

The IBI program provides behavior support in an inclusive environment. The goal of the instruction is to successfully prepare a learner to integrate into the least-restrictive school placement. Instructional goals are developed according to each learner’s individualized treatment plan. To achieve the best outcomes, SBSA has hired an Intervention Specialist licensed by the Ohio Department of Education to assist in implementing this plan across the learner’s day. The IBI classroom provides a supportive, energetic, and understanding environment in which young learners can thrive.

Marion City Schools has also requested that SBSA open a second IBI classroom in January 2013 for students in grades four through six. Both classrooms will utilize cutting-edge technology applications to enhance the learning process and increase the level of involvement between parents and educators. Autism Webtech will enable curriculum implementation, data collection, and comprehensive reporting; video cameras will record all classroom sessions; and Special Learning’s SL Connect will provide a comprehensive communication platform in which schools, parents, and SBSA can communicate and collaborate with one another.

Even before the official launch, the classroom already has nine students enrolled, two of whom will be in a full inclusion program within a traditional classroom setting with an SBSA Behavior Technician providing behavioral intervention support. The remaining students will be in the IBI classroom with a Behavior Technician assigned to each child depending on his/her own level of need.

The partnership between SBSA and Marion City Schools is a fully integrated program that includes a Certified Behavior Analyst, Special Education Director, and Certified Non-Violent Crisis Prevention Intervention Trainer. The continued collaboration between SBSA and Marion City Schools will enable SBSA to collect the data necessary to develop a full case study to determine the effectiveness of an IBI classroom within a school system. The ultimate goal of the research will be to create a best practices model for others to implement.

For additional information on Step By Step Academy please visit

About Step By Step, Inc.
Step By Step Academy is a (SBSA) is a private, non-profit treatment center for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In addition to center-based treatment, SBSA provides other premier services including assessment, intensive behavioral intervention treatment, parent advocacy, case management, counseling, and parent and professional trainings designed to support the ongoing needs of our community.

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John Solomon
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