Welcome to Northern Pines Academy! We are an inclusive preschool inspired by Reggio Emilia, located on the South Hill of Spokane, Washington. Our approach is based on the belief that children are highly capable learners who are valued for their wonder and knowledge. By encouraging community and collaboration between children, and by using the environment itself as a teacher, we will help unlock children’s creativity and capabilities.
At Northern Pines Academy we pride ourselves on having an inclusive community, which is made up of 70% of children who are typically-developing and 30% of children who are neurodivergent, each of whom will have one-to-one support by our well-trained staff. All our staff members have experience in inclusion and an understanding of neurodivergence.
So the big question is: what does ABA look like at Northern Pines Academy?
Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA for short, is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. It helps us understand how behavior works, how behavior is affected by the environment, and how learning takes place. With this knowledge, our staff is able to help our children who are neurodivergent learn with their typically developing peers. By working closely with families and understanding the needs of each child, we are able to focus on fostering self-advocacy, expand communication, and increase individual skill repertoires. These programs can then be used in conjunction with play to create an inclusive environment of learning, creativity, and wonder.
We are aware that ABA has, in its history, been seen as harmful and controversial; however, a lot has changed in the field's most recent history. At Northern Pines Academy we provide individualized therapy that honors the unique abilities of our students. We take pride in sharing that we do NOT require eye contact, suppress self stimulatory behaviors, and respect children’s current level of communication. We do, however, encourage the use of positive reinforcement to reward our students for learning new skills, facilitating the ongoing development of new skills to help each student prosper. We also prefer naturalistic teaching to make learning look and feel more like play.
Our goal for our students is to help prepare them for the rigors of kindergarten by getting them as close to inclusion as possible, and by teaching compassion and empathy to all of our students.
We are excited to begin the school year and build our new inclusive community of young learners! Learn more about our Admissions and get in touch to discuss your child’s place at Northern Pines Academy.