The Special Education department is focused on helping each child maximize his potential to learn. Most children receive educational services five days a week, twelve months a year. The Children's Center employs full-time certified special education teachers who work in conjunction with lead teachers and patient activity aides in order to carry-out daily educational activities. Children ages 3 and over are evaluated to determine eligibility for placement on an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP identifies individualized goals and objectives for the child. The Center's Special Education Department works in
accordance with Bethany Public Schools (BPS). BPS has consulting teachers who monitor the IEPs in order to remain compliant with the Oklahoma State Department of Education regulations. Some children may attend class sessions off-site, at BPS. These children must be approved for BPS school attendance by the child's collaborative medical team. Paraprofessionals provided by BPS may accompany the children while on-campus at BPS.
The Children's Center class sessions cover a variety of content— all derived from thematic units which are coordinated with language units developed from a partnership with the Speech department, as well as guidelines derived from Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS). Previous themes have included: Oklahoma History, Solar System, Africa, Community Helpers, Ocean and Weather. The Special Education Department strives to provide children with the opportunities to explore their environment and activities through sensory stimulation. This is developed by providing children with visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory presentations within the lessons and activities. Children are also encouraged to develop choice-making skills, allowing staff to learn their likes and dislikes. Augmentative and alternative communication devices as well as other assistive technology including voice-output devices, capability devices, adapted toys and adapted daily living devices are used to help the children develop cause and effect associations and participate independently in class activities such as phrase fill-in songs, answering yes/no questions, choice-making, classroom activities and gaining environmental control. Children with visual impairments are also provided modifications during sessions. Some of these modifications include the use of a light box, visually stimulating objects or pictures presented against black backgrounds, and presentations of tactile vision cues.
Field trips and large group activities are highlights for the children at The Children's Center. They visit the Oklahoma City Zoo, Children's Theater, and Sesame Street Live, among other activities as their health permits. Some large group activities held at the Center include Prom, Summer Fun Day and the Fall Festival.