The Special Child Trust, launched the Autism Centre for Excellence in 2014 to create a program for children on the Autism Spectrum from ages ranging from 3 to 15 years. The program is the first of its kind in India, it is completely data driven and is based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA).
ACE utilises cutting-edge research and standardised educational practices to improve the outcome for children with moderate-to-severe autism. The core philosophy of ACE lies in the belief that individuals of varying abilities can be taught functional skills and communication to lead independent, productive, and rewarding lives as adults.
Often, children with autism, who have moderate-to-severe needs, are unable to integrate into mainstream schools and classrooms. ACE plays a pivotal role in providing a curriculum that fits the needs and abilities of such children, and prepares them for integration and assimilation to the best of their abilities.
ACE has been conceived with the vision of improving the level and quality of autism-related interventions in India by assimilating world-class practices within India’s local and cultural context.
This will be achieved by creating a graduate training programme specific to autism, where teachers can work in the school environment and can have ongoing professional development via a continuing education format.
ACE aims to create long-term intervention strategies in a child’s life from the early years into adulthood so as to understand each child’s strengths and capabilities. It also seeks to maximise learning by providing a consistent and safe environment. The programme has been created as a seamless environment between teachers, parents, and care-givers so that skills can be rapidly learnt and applied in real life.
ACE is a standardised model of teaching and intervention for autism, which, over time, can be replicated across schools and communities in India.