Hanna Perkins’ EPIC Early Learning (Exploring Potentials in Children) offers classroom integration for children, 4-6, with difficulties in social communication and emotional regulation associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Informed by Hanna Perkins’ relationship-based approach to supporting social emotional development, EPIC is 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.

EPIC fills an important gap in serving young children who occupy a high-functioning range of the ASD spectrum. By integrating these children into our small preschool and kindergarten classes, we provide a patient, developmentally minded environment where they can get the attention and special help they need in developing social-emotional controls.

Approved Provider

Ohio Autism Scholarships | Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarships | EdChoice

Contact our Education Director to discuss the suitability of this program for your child

Eligibility and Acceptance

Each child is individually assessed for acceptance into EPIC Early Learning, but general guidelines are that the child is:

  • Able to communicate verbally and respond to questions
  • Able to be safe in a group setting, with respect for the boundaries of others
  • Able to use the toilet independently
  • Able to use help in safely managing anxiety, frustration, and anger
Preference is given to children who have an IEP from their local school district and are eligible for an Autism Scholarship through the State of Ohio.

Focus on emotional development
and inner motivation

A child’s behaviors are expressions of feelings that need to be understood, respected and responded to. 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 facilitate better understanding, and to support a child’s gradual ability to know, manage, and appropriately express his or her feelings.

EPIC Early Learning 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.