Our Philosophy

At EPIC, we focus on independence over perfection. With a 1:1 student-teacher ratio, we develop applied skills so students can better integrate into society as adults. EPIC teachers and staff members shift the conversation away from what people with autism can’t do towards all they can do with the right intervention and support.

The EPIC School relies on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to provide our students and their families with the most effective educational intervention possible. While success in our classroom is to be expected, the real test of our effectiveness is how well each student does outside of his or her classroom. We focus our instruction on those skills with the greatest potential for use by each student, so they overcome obstacles and see success at home or in the community.

The “Educational Partnership” that makes us EPIC is not always easy, but it’s always worthwhile.

A Special Message About Applied Behavior Analysis and EPIC School

In response to much of the misinformation about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) that seems to resurface on a regular basis, the Council for Autism Service Providers (CASP) has just published a very helpful and informative Q&A on ABA and ABA-Based Intervention that can be shared to counter some of this dishonest propaganda.  The Q&A can be found here: https://casproviders.org/the-facts-qa-aba/

“The School that Love Built” Our History

The Educational Partnership for Instructing Children first opened its doors in 1997 when a small group of highly motivated parents recognized a need in their own children that public schools could not meet. In 2002, EPIC moved to its current location in Paramus, NJ. “The school that love built” started to grow, including programs from pre-school through age 21, but retained a 1:1 ratio to educate each child best.

In 2013 EPIC purchased the house located directly across the school parking lot. This house transformed into EPIC’s Life Skills House which houses EPIC’s Transition to Adulthood Program.

While the location may change or the campus may grow, EPIC remains committed to providing high quality, evidence-based education for people with autism.

Applied Skills vs. Functional Skills

Applied Skills are those skills an individual uses across the different scenarios of everyday life. They encompass a variety of activities including reading, math, leisure, safety, cooking, dressing, shopping, independent engagement, and others.

The difference between an applied skill and a functional skill is that “applied” refers to student’s ability to use the skill in day-to-day living. Functional, on the other hand, refers to an arbitrary characteristic of the skill whether the student learns to use it or not. Functional skills may see success in the classroom, but their generalization to the world outside of school is often challenging.

In the pursuit of an individual’s personal level of independence, we focus our instruction on applied skills instead of purely functional skills. As a result, many of our EPIC students see success in their home or community life beyond the controlled environment at school.