What is ASCEND?

ASCEND (Autism Spectrum Center for Educational and Neurological Development) is a K-12 non-profit Arizona day school specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) special education for children with behavioral problems, language disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and related disabilities.

Does my child have to have autism to go to ASCEND?

No. We often accept students with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, speech and language disorders, and challenging behaviors. Autism is not a requirement to attend ASCEND. Many children with other learning difficulties benefit greatly from our structured ABA instruction method.

Why send my child to ASCEND?

Many parents find that their child with autism or related disability may have difficulty in a typical school setting. ASCEND offers a small school setting with attentive and caring staff who strive to make each child’s school experience fun and engaging. Our program gives students the individualized attention they need to have a happy and positive school experience. Thus, improving learning outcomes. ASCEND supports parents in what they want for their child and will help each parent find the best educational program for each child’s individual needs.

What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

ABA is the use of positive reinforcement to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior. The ABA teaching method is straightforward. During a learning trial, the student is given a simple instruction, the aide waits briefly for a response, then the student is prompted or physically directed to the correct answer. When the correct answer is made a valued reinforcement is given to the student. This process is repeated until the student learns to give the correct answer.

How is ABA used in ASCEND’s educational program?

We target specific skills for each student and develop a goal pertaining to that skill. Each goal is broken into simple steps for the student to follow. We also determine how often and how many trials the students will complete each day. Each day we do two hours of formal learning sessions where students work one-on-one with their aide on their targeted goals. During the rest of the day our aides continue incidental teaching with students as they experience the routine school day. At the end of each academic quarter we look at how students progress with their goals. If a student shows regression on a goal, we assess how the goal is delivered and make adjustments to our teaching strategies so that the student starts making progress.

How can I pay for tuition and fees at ASCEND?

There are numerous ways you can get funding to pay for your child to attend ASCEND.  Many of our families pay for tuition and fees with either an, School Tax Credit Scholarship (STO), Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) or their home District funding. You may review ways to pay for tuition and fees here.

Does ASCEND provide transportation to and from school?

Students placed at ASCEND by a district can have the district provide transportation. Furthermore, students on scholarships are often able to secure private contract transportation with one ASCEND’s staff. Most often, there is no cost to the parents as there are numerous funding sources transportation services. Either way, we can most certainly help you navigate to a solution to your transportation needs.

Does ASCEND offer school meals?

We have found that many of our students have varied and sensitive diets due to allergies and digestive problems. Due to the wide variety of unique food requirements our students present, we ask that parents send a packed lunch with their child. If needed, our staff will heat or otherwise prepare the students meal and assist them with eating.