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The Emerald Coast Autism Center (ECAC) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to educating and improving the lives of young children with autism in Okaloosa and Walton counties and surrounding areas. ECAC is unique in our approach to teaching these amazing children. All instruction and activities at the ECAC are conducted in a manner consistent with the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The science of ABA is currently the only proven intervention for children with autism. Specifically, ECAC follows the Verbal Behavior (VB) approach to ABA, based on B.F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior.
All of our staff members are trained ABA therapists, certified teachers, or are taking Master’s level coursework toward special education or BCBA certification. We have three BCBA's and five BCaBA's on staff.
We are located in Niceville, Florida at 80 College Blvd. Our center has an indoor playground, complete with a rock climbing wall, as well as a fenced-in outdoor playground for our students.
Academically, ECAC serves students from Pre-k through grade two. We anticipate extending to higher grade levels as our student population expands. We offer both Speech and Occupational therapy on-site as a service to all of our families. Speech therapy is provided by Heidi Banks, M.Ed., CCC/SLP, and Chelsi Chilcott, M.S., CCC-SLP. Occupational therapy is provided by Kidz Korner owned by Michelle Wildman, MHS, OTR/L. The long-term goal of the ECAC is to grow into a stand-alone regional center for the education, and treatment of children with autism, and the support of their families.
In addition to following the principles of ABA, as a Florida private school, we blend the required Florida Sunshine Standards and the VB-MAPP, an assessment tool developed by Dr. Mark Sundberg, Ph.D., BCBA, into our curriculum to maximize student progress and to ease transition to other classrooms. It is our belief that children benefit from having a broad, extensive curriculum. Along these lines, we employ several other educational programs. Some examples include: Handwriting Without Tears, Explode the Code (phonics) and Read It Once Again.
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) does not sponsor, approve or endorse Emerald Coast Autism Center, the materials, information or sessions identified herein.