The EPIC School

With a data-based approach to learning and a 1:1 student-
teacher ratio, the EPIC school provides each student the
opportunity to meet their maximum potential.

Our individualized instructional programs address deficits in the areas of communication, social skills, academics, leisure, self-care, safety and adaptive behavior. In all these areas, The EPIC School places an emphasis on the application of acquired skills across environments.

NJ Department of Education Certified Special Education Teachers with training and experience in ABA and Autism oversee each classroom. Finally, a team of six BCBAs supervises nearly all aspects of the program including classroom instruction, behavior support, community-based instruction, life skills instruction, and job training.

Services & Programs

Autism & Applied Behavioral Analysis

Our evidence-based instructional protocols allow us to be outcome-focused in our partnerships with parents. While we often break down complex tasks into more teachable parts, we also work to teach skills in a way that allows for the fastest acquisition with the least response effort, without compromising the integrity of the skill or our interventions. Either way, the intervention process, and any related troubleshooting, is guided solely by data.

Elementary/Middle School Program

EPIC’s Elementary/Middle Program provides an individualized, evidence-based education to children with autism ages 5 to 14-years. As a function of need instruction is provided across multiple skill domains such as communication, academics, self-care, independence, social skills, self-management and safety. Even EPIC’s youngest students participate in degree of community-based instruction (CBI) to establish the prerequisites of more complex skills they will need later on in life.

Inclusion

Some students only stay with EPIC for a short time before they transition systematically back to their home school district. For some, this may mean full-time inclusion with no follow-along by EPIC, but for others it may mean part-time inclusion with support provided by EPIC. In either scenario, EPIC works very closely with the student, family, and sending district to achieve this outcome.

Community Based Instruction

The EPIC School is committed to the use of evidence-based, behavior analytic interventions to improve the lives of our students and their families across multiple instructional domains and instructional environments.  One way EPIC does this is through the provision of instructional intervention outside the classroom and in the student’s typical environment.  Taken collectively, the interventions, protocols and policies guiding such instruction are referred to as Community Based Instruction (CBI).   CBI has been identified as an evidence-based practice (National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center, 2017) and is generally regarded as an effective instructional method for the consistent and systematic provision of instruction, in real-life settings, in the skills students will need to live productive, included, and enjoyable adult lives.  CBI is a hands-on process requiring the involvement of parents and other members of the community such as local businesses and community members.  The skills targeted in via CBI are, most often, adaptive behavior skills although the application of academic skills is often included in the process.  The overarching goal of CBI is the development of a repertoire of independent skills tagged to the environments most likely to be accessed by the student in his or her daily life.

Transition

The Transition to Adulthood focuses on more than just the development of job skills, extending to skills relevant to community life. Although EPIC’s transition program officially begins at 14 years of age, the instruction finds its roots in the programming for students as young as 7 years old. Because of our focus on applied skills throughout their time with EPIC, our students develop a repertoire of skills necessary to succeed in classroom, the community, and their homes.

Structured Internship Program

The EPIC School’s Structured Internship Program is conducted under the guidelines of the NJ Department of Education’s Structured Learning Environments program. In the Structured Internship Program, we focus on the acquisition of skills both relevant to a specific job (packaging medical supplies for EMS workers) and generalizable across jobs (rate of production, duration of engagement, quality control, direction following, etc.). EPIC Job Coaches act as liaisons between the community and the students to find the best fit for a student’s skills and the business’s needs. Between ages 16-21, we use multiple internships to determine job preferences and develop experience in an actual workplace, with the goal of gainful employment at a preferred job after graduation from EPIC.

Community Partners

EPIC’s community partners represent a broad array of local businesses who, in one way or another, have welcomed our students into their establishments for internships/job training or provided the opportunity for EPIC students to learn and acquire new skills in real-world environments.

The EPIC School’s 10 Critical Skills

The EPIC School, as part of each student’s IEP, focuses on the development of 10 Skills Critical for Life as an Adult. Built around the concept that adulthood begins in preschool, those skills taught early in a student’s life may continue as as instructional targets but in increasingly complex ways and conditions.

1

Toileting (Bowel and Urine)

defined as independent use of a bathroom, when necessary, including locking the door, wiping seat, wiping self (if necessary), washing hands, exiting bathroom and return to origin location.

2

Dressing

defined as independent selection of appropriate clothes, closing door for privacy, donning clothes in correct order and orientation and checking appearance before opening door and exiting area.

3

Eating (Mealtime Skills)

defined as independent ability to correctly use all appropriate utensils (knife, fork, spoon) to eat a variety of foods neatly and at a culturally accepted pace.

4

Bathing/Self-Care

defined as independent selection of appropriate clothes, closing door for privacy, donning clothes in correct order and orientation and checking appearance before opening door and exiting area.

5

Household Membership/Participation

defined as independent completion of a variety of household chores or activities (often referred to as “ADLs”).

6

Group Learning

defined as the ability to acquire new skills when presented via dyad or triad instruction at a rate of acquisition similar to that documented via 1:1 instruction. Today, this would also include distance/virtual instruction.

7

Self-Management

defined as the ability to recognize one’s own behavior as either appropriate or inappropriate and deliver potential positive reinforcement in the absence of supervision.

8

Problem Solving

defined as the ability to demonstrate more than one potential solution when presented with a relevant problem or challenge in need of solution.

9

Physical Safety

a. Goal 1 – Demonstrate the ability to identify and avoid potential “non-human” dangers in the immediate environment.

b. Goal 2 – Demonstrate ability to discriminate between “safe” and “unsafe” people and respond appropriately.

c. Goal 3 – Demonstrate a reasonable degree of noncompliance when presented with “privacy requests” from an unapproved person or persons.

d. Goal 4 – Demonstrate ability to participate in healthcare management activities (e.g., doctor or dentist visits).

10

Communication/ Social Responding

defined as the ability to make one’s wants, needs, interests, etc. known to naïve listeners across multiple environments.

Meet Our Compassionate Team

Teachers who join EPIC have the job description of “change someone’s life for the better today,” and they live it out every day. With small class sizes guided by Board Certified Behavioral Analysts, faculty and staff guide your students to data-based outcomes so they can live to their personal maximum potential.