Young Learners Preschool is an evidence-based, comprehensive, early intervention school program designed to serve children between 2.9 and 5 years of age with autism spectrum disorder. This unique preschool offers an intensive, six hour per day, five day per week special education program featuring small class size and teacher:student ratio of at least 1:3. Through specialized, evidence-based assessment and curriculum, a collaborative multidisciplinary team approach and family involvement, our mission is to create a positive, dynamic learning environment to help students with autism spectrum disorder reach their maximum potential.
Young Learners Preschool, Sherman Oaks Campus, is certified by the California State Department of Education. Young Learners Preschool, Culver City Campus, operates under the auspices of Village Glen School, which is certified by the California State Department of Education. Young Learners is licensed by the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division. The Young Learners Preschool was established with the support of a generous grant from First 5 LA and is recognized by First 5 LA as a model of excellence.
Young Learners Preschool utilizes the California Preschool Learning Foundations as a guide to developing an individualized kindergarten readiness program. Each child is assessed with an ABA-based assessment tool, which is used to develop IEP goals and related programs. The program fosters growth in language development, communication, socialization, emotional/relational skills, adaptive skills, behavior management, academic readiness, and fine and gross motor skills.
Young Learners’ specialized curriculum utilizes a wide range of highly individualized, research-based, clinically-validated intervention strategies. Depending on the child’s needs, skills are taught through Applied Behavior Analysis teaching strategies such as Discrete Trial Training, Pivotal Response Training, Natural Environment Teaching and Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Research has demonstrated that early intervention is critical in maximizing the growth and development of young children with autism spectrum disorder.
Young Learners Preschool recognizes the value of technology in teaching and learning.Our youngest students are highly motivated by the interactive quality of technology. Teachers integrate iPads, augmentative communication devices and computer software into the curriculum to provide additional modalities for learning and communication.
Young Learners has adopted TeachTown: Basics, a comprehensive, research-based, developmental software program that is based upon principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). TeachTown addresses language learning, social skills, communication skills and emotional development.
Young Learners Preschool includes a multidisciplinary team that strives to create a positive learning environment to maximize each child’s potential. Our team is comprised of credentialed, highly qualified special education teachers, speech and language pathologists, psychologists, occupational therapists, adaptive physical education specialists, behavior specialists and experienced teaching assistants, who work collaboratively with each other and with families to meet each child’s individual needs. The designated instructional service providers listed above utilize an integrated approach in the classrooms to ensure generalization of learned skills throughout the school week.
When effective collaboration between schools and families occurs, a relationship of mutual respect and trust is developed, and students make their greatest gains. Communication is an essential piece of collaboration. Communication occurs in a variety of ways, including through the use of a daily communication log, parent conferences, phone calls and emails, report cards and team meetings. Teachers may make a home visit during the year if there is a specific need to address behavior, skill building, or generalization of a skill.
Family involvement is also encouraged through training and support meetings, participation on field trips and various volunteer opportunities. The Early Education program also offers a monthly parent support group where parents can share experiences, ask questions and celebrate successes led by the Director of Early Education Programs, Dr. Sara McCracken.
Pamela Clark, MA
Director of Autism Schools
Mary Bauman, PhD
Director, Clinical Services
Sara McCracken, PsyD
Director of Early Education
Ana Palacios, MA
Culver City Campus
Nata Preis, MA
Head of School
Young Learners Preschool is located on two campuses, one in Sherman Oaks and one in Culver City. Each site includes developmentally engineered classrooms, a designated preschool play area, a Learning Centers room and a fully equipped sensory integration room.
13164 Burbank Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91401
4160 Grand View Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066