ANNOUNCEMENTS and NEWS
City of Coral Gables, EMBRACING AUTISM
Coral Gables has been an amazing partner with Crystal Academy in serving the Autism community. Please watch the video."
Ocaquatics Grant
Crystal Academy students get lessons in water safety, and lots of fun, through a generous grant from Ocaquatics Swim School."
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities
  An amazing show of support
         for the children served.
Gables Foundation
Mary Snow presented Crystal Academy with two Promethean ActivBoards through a grant by the Coral Gables Community Foundation."
Government Day
Mayor Jim Cason welcomed the middle schooler's for an amazing day at City Hall. All learned and had fun as "Mayor and Council for a day."
Remote Observation
Remote Observation
Crystal Academy offers parents secure access to observe their child from any internet connection. Recorded sessions are available.
Promethean ActivBoard
Interactive Board
The new interactive board is a fun way to learn and share. All the kids love to be at the front of the class showing off for their friends.
Scientific Learning's Fast Forward and Reading ssistant
Fast Forward
Improve reading two grades in as little as three months, boost performance across all areas of study. Fast Forward and Reading Assistant.
Dan Marino WEalkAbout
Dan Marino WalkAbout
Dan Marino honors Crystal Academy for being top fund raiser for the WalkAbout for Autism for the second year in a row.
In the news!
"Coral Gables Now" interviews Crystal Academy CEO David Pike on Autism Intervention and the first ASD center in Coral Gables.
Mary and David Pike host UM-NSU CARD Tropical Nights
Tropical Nights
Mary and David Pike were honored to be asked to host the 2014 Tropical Nights benefiting the UM-NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities.
"Taco" the Guinea pig
Crystal Academy welcomes "Taco" the Guinea pig to the cllassroom. We voted on the name Taco but the vote for funniest picture is still open.
Social Play Day
Social Fun Day!
Everyone has a great time on Social Fun Day, especially the staff! With art, recreation, fun learning games, and many more playful, social activities.
The Crystal Academy Philosophy
Skills and Language

CRYSTAL ACADEMY's therapy center utilizes a variety of evidence based and ancilary services combined in a holistic program personalized to each child. Services are focused on the childs specific needs and coordinated to optimize measurable results.

In the Primary School at CRYSTAL ACADEMY we develop and nurture the children's unique abilities, while meeting their needs and challenges through a curriculum designed specifically for each child including academics, evidence based therapy services, and socialization with peers.

Uniquely designed for each child

Central to our approach is the belief that the brain can be re-wired and impaired cognitive function enhanced or even fully replaced. New neural pathways can be developed through intensive intervention during the early years. At CRYSTAL ACADEMY we are proud to provide a variety of services that include intensive Behavior Therapy based on the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program  (VB-MAPP)  and  Speech  and  Language  Pathology,  also

incorporating Occupational and Physical Therapy, Sensory Integration, Neuro Developmental techniques, life skills, Music and Art as Therapy, Gymnastics, and socialization and play activities.

Our program has been developed to provide a behavior milestones and language acquisition intervention that promotes appropriate cognitive and social development, communication and language, independence and life skills.

A comprehensive evaluation of your child's skills and developmental challenges is conducted by our staff in order to design your child's personalized program. A program designed to provide behavior milestones and language acquisition and promote appropriate cognitive and social development, communication and language, independence and life skills. A detailed assessment of each child's progress is provided to parents every six months. Objective measure of skills is performed every day.

          Last, but certainly not least, at CRYSTAL ACADEMY we believe learning should be fun and rich relationship between the child and the staff.

Behavior Therapy - ABA
Individual Teaching
Behavior therapy is commonly misunderstood to be the correction of inappropriate behaviors. While that is certainly one of the functions of Behavior therapy it is far more comprehensive. Simply put, throughout the history of psychology a wealth of knowledge has been accumulated about appropriate behavioral development of neuro-typical children. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) takes those normal developmental steps and arranges them hierarchically in related groups like Imitation, Expressive Language, and Receptive language. Each child is tested starting at the bottom or first developmental stage of each category so that their lowest point of failure is found. A profile is created and therapy begins taking that child up through the normal cycle of development mastering each task as they proceed. Rather than simply trying to teach the child to function as close to their chronological age and skipping critical developmental steps, ABA builds a complete foundation of behavioral development.
Individual Teaching
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the empirically-validated therapy of choice that is used to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The scientific principles that support ABA allow its practitioners to help increase other people's abilities to communicate and socialize with others, follow instructions, attain independence with daily living tasks, reduce unwanted or problematic behaviors, and reduce gaps in fundamental skills.

By helping to increase these fundamental skills and socially-desirable behaviors, ABA practitioners seek to elevate the capabilities of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in order to enable them to live their lives as independently as they possibly can.
Individual Teaching
At Crystal Academy we use the most modern methods of ABA crafted around the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP). We believe though that connection with the child is the most critical facet of development so every opportunity to break out of the standard therapy regime and focus on an unexpected connection opportunity presented by the child is fully explored. Unlike many behavioral facilities, we believe that our job is not the take the child out of Autism by forcing them to behave like us but rather to meet them in their space and lead them out. These "Incidental Teaching Moments" are the most powerful tools to that end.
Crystal Academy employs a full, dedicated and loving staff of certified ABA practitioners, including three Board Certified Behavior Analysts, one Board Certified assistant Behavior Analyst, and a number of qualified Behavior Technicians. Our mission is to work together as a team in order to help your loved ones grow and achieve the very best life, social and intellectual skills that they can attain.
Academics
Individual Teaching
Crystal Academy provides a holistic education for children on the Autism spectrum or expressing other developmental delays. We offer lessons that follow Common Core Florida Standards but are delivered using a combination of standard academic and Behavior therapy methodologies depending on the child's optimal learning environment.
Individual Teaching

Each student is given modified instruction individualized to that child's strengths and development needs based on their intellectual, emotional, physical and social condition. The academic sessions are an infusion of core subjects and learning functional classroom behaviors. Students are taught individually but are  as  often  as  optimal  strategically  grouped  by  skill  level

and in a manner that is conducive to socially appropriate group work. Apart from content, students are taught social, thinking, study, problem solving, and memory skills, as well as self regulation and shared attention. Lesson delivery is designed to suit the child's best learning method using a combination of visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile approaches.
Speech and Language Pathology
Communication is the cornerstone of connecting and building relationships. It is a fundamental need to develop communication skills for all children. At CA we believe in providing our students with strategies and support to be able to develop functional and successful communication.

We have therapists trained in PECS, sign language, Augmentative Communication devices and Verbal Tactile Cueing systems such as PROMPT, and the Fast Forward reading system. Our goal is to provide all modalities of communication that will benefit each unique child and promote their ability to communicate.

At Crystal Academy we consider communication to be paramount in the development of delayed children. The complementary overlap of Speech Pathology and Behavior Therapy is integral to our communication enhancement strategy. Our head of Speech is both fully certified Speech Pathologist with over a decade of service as well as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and all Speech providers enjoy maintaing at least basic Behavior Therapy competence and engagement.
Speech and Language
Occupational Therapy - Neuro Development
Occupational Therapy
The overarching goal of Occupational Therapy (OT) is to improve a child's general functioning in daily living skills in order to attain the highest possible level of age appropriate independence. Pediatric Occupational Therapy addresses fine motor and gross motor coordination, sensory integration, and the attainment of physical developmental milestones.
Neuro Development
When primitive processes govern the functioning of the central nervous system (CNS), the brain is not able to function at its greatest potential. An in-depth Neuro-Developmental (ND) evaluation can uncover evidence of primitive CNS functioning and an intensive individualized ND program can be developed to stimulate brain maturation.

Our ND program is based on the INPP method and the premise of neuroplasticity, or the brain's ability to change or "re-wire", whereby stimulating the brain via intensive individualized developmentally appropriate intervention can to lead to improvements in processing.
A healthy and stable neurological foundation on which to build age appropriate skills is essential for every child to reach their potential in all areas of function (cognitive, behavioral, motor, speech).

Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or related disabilities will benefit from OT and ND to increase self regulation, functionality, attention, developmentally appropriate skills, and independence.
Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy
The role of physical therapy in the life of a child with ASD is to unlock the efficiency of the mechanism we call our bodies.

It is through physical therapy that children with ASD learn to use and modulate their sensory and motor processing systems through gross motor play involving movement, proprioceptive and kinesthetic body awareness, reflex inhibition exercises, touch and connection, oral motor stimulation, visual motor hand eye/foot coordination, bilateral coordination, motor planning, and auditory stimulation with music.

Physical therapy gives a child with ASD the neurological foundation skills necessary to allow for a significant rate of progress in occupational, speech and language and behavior therapy. Moreover, physical therapy gives children with ASD a deep rooted sense of self, self confidence and connection with their environment and the people in it.
At Crystal Academy the physical therapy provided uses a neurological specialized approach to gross motor skill development involving sensory integration, reflex inhibition exercises, myofacial release, NDT, PNF and cranial sacral therapy. In addition, the physical therapists are trained and use methods of positive psychology to promote a child's inner well being and self confidence as a relationship between therapist and child is developed while working towards improving independence in gross motor skill development.                                                        Isabel Lara, MS, PT
iLs and Sensory Integration
Sensory Integration
iLs - Itegrated Listening System
A wide variety of Sensory Integration techniques are used every day at CRYSTAL ACADEMY, from the simple hide and seek of toys in sand, rice or shaving cream to sophisticated technologies.

CRYSTAL ACADEMY is certified on the iLs system, a multi-sensory program for improving brain function. iLs has a global effect on the brain and central nervous system, influencing the following systems and their function: auditory, visual, vestibular (balance and coordination), motor, cognitive (thinking and reasoning) and emotional.

iLs programs improve emotional regulation while training the brain to process sensory information. With improved regulation and processing, our ability to focus, think, and engage successfully in social situations also improves.
Music Therapy
Music Therapy
Music therapy is the use of music-based interventions to address individualized, therapeutic goals. Music therapy is a well-established allied health profession, backed by years of research; thus, producing evidence-based interventions. As a therapy, Music is a multi-sensory stimuli promoting neurological and cognitive organization and promoting communication and movement coordination.

At CRYSTAL ACADEMY our specific goals for Music therapy are improved communication skills, behavior modification, sensory organization and coordination, motor skills, cognitive skills, and social and emotional development.

And not least of all, Music is fun!
Art as Therapy
Art as Therapy
Art as therapy uses a 'triangle' to spark ingenuity and significance within a child's life. There is a three-part relationship between the child, the art, and the therapist. The ideal goal is to guide the child to lead the session and wait for the art project to provide a spontaneous yet meaningful teachable moment.

Art making in Art as therapy is a modality through which relevant areas of creative deficiency are confronted. The product of what is made in a session itself is not as important as the experience for the child. Through art therapy the goals include gathering self-discovery, imaginative experimentation, tactile tolerance, and novel exposure to products and processes that are often looked past in daily life.

Art as therapy has many beneficial facets including targeting imagination, abstract thinking, sensory regulation, self-expression of emotions, developmental growth, visual-spatial skills, and teaching appropriate recreation/leisure skills.
Gymnastics
Gymnastics
With the overall focus and emphasis being placed on a child being able to function appropriately and properly, the simple nature and vital need of a child to be physically active is often overlooked. Recreational sports programs are the easiest way to keep children interested and involved in physical activity. While recreational sports programs are readily available on a daily basis throughout the community, there are very few programs that offer the physical activity component while providing a suitable level of support for the precise developmental needs of children diagnosed with Autism or related disabilities.

CRYSTAL ACADEMY addresses this issue by customizing various athletic programs to provide physical activity while supporting the development targeted in all other therapies. Our athletes grow and develop countless cognitive, social, emotional, behavioral and physical skills, through the involvement in our gymnastics program.                                            Gymnastics is provided by LEAP
                                                       (Learning Enriched Athletic Programs)   www.leapsouthfl.com
All Day Care
AfterCare
AfterCare
At CRYSTAL ACADEMY we recognize that the unusual duties of caring for a special needs child do not relieve us of the normal responsibilities of life. It is complicated enough to get your child all the special care they need, having then to make separate appropriate arrangements for their non therapy care while also working, shopping, or managing the miriad other task of life can be overwhelming.

This is why at At CRYSTAL ACADEMY we not only offer the waide variety of proven theraputic services described above, we are also proud to offer "After Care", a non therapy day care service for our special children. Before or after your child engages in their theraputic activities they can play and socialize in a manner guided and supervised by a behavior therapist.

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