Dedicated ASD Classroom

IMG_4957Hanna Perkins’ EPIC Classroom (Exploring Potentials in Children) is for children who have an Autism Spectrum Disorders diagnosis. It’s a natural extension of our school’s gentle, unhurried approach to helping young learners identify, understand, manage and communicate their feelings – basic skills for success in school and life.

The purpose of the EPIC program is to provide a “stepping stone” experience toward inclusion in a typical classroom, and to provide parents an opportunity to work with both a classroom teacher and a credentialed child therapist (often referred to as a family helper) on coordinated intervention strategies.

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 is relationship-based. Teaching strategies are chosen with empathy and respect, and exercised with humor and flexibility. As teachers pay attention to the individual meaning of students’ behavior, they share control and incorporate the students’ interests in meeting their personal, social and academic goals.

In the EPIC classroom, particular attention is paid 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.

Academic growth is guided by the goals of the Ohio Department of Education, Individual Education Plans and Teaching Strategies Gold. 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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