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Providing Clinical, Educational, and Vocational Services to the Greater New Orleans
Autism Community.

The Chartwell Center is part of Easterseals Louisiana working to make a life of independence and purpose possible for children and adults on the autism spectrum. Currently, we provide Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), academic services, and vocational training.

 

Programs at Chartwell

Our early intervention program implements Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for children on the Autism Spectrum.  One highly trained staff member works with one child to increase functional communication, adaptive behaviors, and social skills, while reducing challenging behaviors like tantrums, self-harm, and aggression. We offer opportunities for inclusion with community-based activities outside of Chartwell.

The Center is set up for elementary and high school age students with Autism. Here, our staff utilize the UNIQUE Curriculum in combination with ABA principles to provide a structured and safe learning environment.  Goals are individualized and can range from solidifying communication systems, increasing socialization in a collaborative environment, to making strides academically. We work with our children on important skill building with the goal of returning them to a mainstream classroom.

The Program for Adults Transitioning Higher (PATH) is Chartwell’s gem – unique in its service to the New Orleans community, and on the cutting edge of best practices for adults on the spectrum.  We offer supports to adults, 21 and over, with Autism. PATH is designed for individuals to reach their fullest potential in their daily living, social, and vocational endeavors. PATH uses the UNIQUE curriculum integrated with programing for self-help and life skills to provide opportunities for our students to create a life of purpose for themselves. PATH students have jobs at local businesses along with operating their own dog treat program.

Chartwell believes that education creates change. It drives what we do with our staff, the individuals that we serve, and our community. Chartwell provides training to parents, educators, and community members on how to better understand, include, and accommodate individuals with disabilities. Chartwell hosts interns from Tulane University, works with the LSU Speech-Language Pathology Program, and is always looking for new opportunities to broaden the visibility and understanding of Autism in New Orleans.

Our Guiding Pillars

ABA

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) uses evidence-based assessments and interventions to reduce problem behaviors and increase communication, social/play, and adaptive skills. Research has proven ABA to be an effective therapy for those on the Autism Spectrum. ABA interventions aim to make meaningful changes that improve a child’s quality of life by using positive reinforcement, shaping, errorless teaching, prompting, and alongside other evidence-based behavioral tactics. At Chartwell, ABA programs utilize a combination of Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and Natural Environment Teaching (NET) to teach, generalize, and maintain skills. We believe parent involvement in ABA is crucial to our success and work to involve parents in goal selection and to train parents on effective strategies for their child.

Community Based Instruction

Community Based Instruction (CBI) is a method of teaching that takes students out of the classroom to teach in the natural environment. CBI targets goals that are meaningful to individuals and to families. The goal is to teach valuable skills like vocational skills as well as things like how to ride public transportation, how to go grocery shopping, and how to order in a restaurant. CBI allows students to generalize what they learn in new environments and promotes independence and self-esteem. Not only that, but going out into the community means spreading Autism awareness to our neighbors.

Arts Integration

At Chartwell, we know that exposure to the arts and the creative process can benefit a student’s cognitive and emotional development. When appropriate, visual and performing arts are included in curriculum via project-based learning. For some students, arts integration means using art to teach fine motor skills, imitation, and so much more. Art is also taught as a play skill and as an appropriate sensory outlet for students. Our talented music therapists lead group and individual music therapy sessions for our students.

Health & Wellness

It is common for parents of children and adults with autism to have dietary and health concerns. This is why our dedicated staff keeps our students physically engaged and seizes teaching opportunities to encourage healthy eating behaviors. Our students participate in activities like meditation, yoga, basketball, physical play, walks in the park, and more. When possible, our students learn to prepare healthy meals and snacks for themselves embedding nutrition into this life skill. Our PATH students tend to our urban garden planting and harvesting seasonal crops. Our goal is for all of our students to lead a healthy and happy life.