Our Mission


The Learning Center’s efforts are directed towards improving the education and quality of life of our students. We are devoted to using proven approaches to maximize the developmental potential of each one of our students.


The Learning Center intends to prepare its students to be as independent, self-sufficient and socially interactive as possible. The school is dedicated to ensuring that all services and supports will be designed and delivered to respect the dignity and uniqueness of each person and will be provided in the least restrictive environment in an appropriate manner. The Learning Center at the Els Center of Excellence was created to fill a need for high-quality, intense educational programming based on the educational intervention validated procedures of Applied Behavior Analysis, TEACCH, PECS, sensory processing intervention and social skills training for young children with autism spectrum disorders in Palm Beach County. The Learning Center’s efforts are dedicated to improving the education and quality of lives of its students. Research has demonstrated the efficiency in using ABA in the education and treatment of individuals with autism.  The Learning Center is devoted to using this approach in conjunction with other techniques to maximize the developmental potential of each one of our students. The Learning Center’s major goals are to:

  1. Provide continuous and systematic intervention through full-day programming with a low teacher to student ratio.
  2. Use the principles of ABA to provide a framework for instruction and ongoing evaluation of effectiveness of interventions.
  3. Provide support and instruction in home management skills for parents, siblings and extended families.
  4. Develop affiliations with community organizations to provide opportunities for inclusion.
  5. Prepare students for public school attendance when appropriate and to support their transition.
  6. Ultimately, provide a continuum of services to those students who do not meet the prerequisites for transition.

Therapy Services

Speech Language Therapy
  • Facilitation of expressive and receptive language
  • Facilitation of pragmatic (social) language
  • Use of PECS system
  • Oral Motor Exercises
  • Augmentative Communication Systems
  • Behavior management consistent with classroom
Occupational Therapy
  • Sensory Integration Techniques to increase sensory tolerance & self-regulation
  • Neuro developmental techniques to improve tone, strength, & movement
  • Fine Motor skills-use of tools
  • Functional self-care skills
Behavior Therapy
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst
  • Individual Behavior Management Plans
  • Discrete Trial Intervention
  • Incidental Learning
  • Peer Modeling
  • Video Modeling

Special Fine Arts Activities

Music Therapy

Erica Lyles, our board certified music therapist, facilitates music instruction while utilizing a therapeutic approach to promote skills including, social, motor, cognitive and emotional.  Lessons and interventions are carefully developed to meet each student at their level and allow them to participate and be successful in each class!  All of the students are enriched through our fun activities.

Theresa Miles, Certified Art Teacher, encourages creativity and flexible thinking through the arts. She creates opportunities for all students to create self expression through painting, drawing, and creating tangible results with multiple exposures to textures, shapes, and colors. Using the Florida Standards as the curriculum guide, she is able to provide the students with visual aids, step by step instructions, and adaptive materials to assist students through the art process.
Coach Mike, Coach Jen and Coach Lindsey run #GameOn Autism Golf - a fun way for the students to learn how to play golf and interact with their school friends.
Physical Education
Michael Fernicola, Certified Physical Education Teacher, strives to create opportunities for all students to participate and enjoy the benefits of being physically active. Using the Florida Standards as the curriculum guide, he is able to adapt and create a fun and physical learning environment by assisting students to develop life skills, social interactions, all while promoting a healthy living lifestyle.