Dedicated ASD Classroom


Hanna Perkins’ EPIC Classroom (Exploring Potentials in Children) is for children with difficulties in social communication and emotional regulation associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders. It’s a natural extension of our school’s gentle approach to helping young learners identify, understand, manage and communicate their feelings – basic skills for success in school and life.

The EPIC program is a “stepping stone” toward inclusion in a typical classroom, helping the child translate behaviors into effective social expression while developing self-regulation skills, internal motivation and a solid sense of self.

The EPIC Classroom is for children ages 4-6. Eligible students will demonstrate sufficient verbal skills to respond to question words and engage in back-and-forth exchanges.

The Hanna Perkins-EPIC approach focuses on developing each child’s inner motivation, with particular attention to creating an environment that supports self-regulation. This includes purposeful use of visual cues and social stories, as well as appropriate levels of sensory stimulation. Teaching strategies are chosen with empathy and respect for the individual needs of each child, and exercised with humor and flexibility. Appropriate behavioral interventions follow a relationship-based approach that includes Natural Environment Strategies, PECS, TEACCH Strategies and Discrete Trial Training. As teachers pay attention to the meaning of each student’s behavior, they share control and incorporate the student’s interest in meeting personal, social and academic goals.

Academic growth is guided by the goals of the Ohio Department of Education, Teaching Strategies Gold and each student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Teachers integrate these goals to meet individual needs.  Academic growth is structured by individual daily activity contracts.

Integration with typical peers in the preschool and kindergarten classrooms is facilitated as the parents, teacher, and family helper determine appropriate. Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapy services can be coordinated on-site.

ClevelandClinicCforAutismHanna Perkins School is an autism scholarship provider through the Ohio Department of Education.

The Dedicated ASD Classroom involves collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Center for Autism.

boy with scissorsA child’s behaviors are expressions of feelings that need to be understood, respected and responded to in the most helpful way possible. This applies to all children regardless of limitations or differences in the way they communicate.

Often children on the spectrum show their feelings in dramatic ways that are confusing to those who don’t understand their language. In all Hanna Perkins programs, our specialists work closely with parents and teachers to help facilitate better understanding, and to support a child’s gradual ability to know, manage, and appropriately express his or her  feelings.  A child who gains this mastery over time will feel happier and more successful because of it.


  • Maximum class size of 6 children, ages 4-6
  • Five days/week, September through June
  • Monday-Thursday – 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Friday – 9 a.m.-noon
  • Staffed with two teachers experienced in working with the ASD population
  • An Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) consultant providing up-front training and ongoing consultation
  • Two Hanna Perkins-trained child therapists available to meet weekly with parents and teachers
  • An environment designed to be less stimulating than a traditional preschool classroom
  • Increased emphasis on visual learning
  • Consultation and on-site services, as needed, of a Speech & Language Therapist
  • Classroom materials and techniques designed for the ASD population

Hanna Perkins is an Ohio Autism Scholarship Provider. For discussion about the suitability of the program for specific children, we’re happy to talk with you directly, and are glad to introduce you to our current Preschool, Kindergarten, and Parent/Toddler programs as well. Please click here to contact our Educational Director.

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