Why Oakstone / CCDE


"Working as early childhood special education teacher for a public school district for fourteen years left me with a belief that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were for the most part cognitively intact. Their deficits appeared severe and intense, however their problem solving skills demonstrate an intelligence that can not be captured socially or on standardized tests. The one thing that could be said of children with ASD is they are able to use their behavior to manipulate the adults in their lives to get them what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. Even without full command of expressive language, these children rule their worlds with precision and predictability."


Rebecca Morrison, Ph.D., Founder, CEO,
CCDE/Oakstone Academy


It is important to determine the primary deficit for a child with ASD. If cognition is intact, then the possibility exists to help the child use their cognition to override weak sensory processes and learn new appropriate behaviors. If social is the primary deficit then the severe and intense behaviors make sense. Social deficits leave the individual unable to understand social expectations or interpret social behavior or pragmatic communication.

The most efficient conditions for remediating social deficits, while building social competency, are age typical environments with systematic (intense) intervention embedded within normalized routines. Providing the amount and intensity of intervention within age typical settings is the primary challenge. Identifying strategies that are both effective for children with ASD and usable in typical settings is the basis of the CCDE program. When implemented correctly and responsibly all students benefit from social and educational interaction with each other across a variety of contexts.

At CCDE, children with ASD are not approached as having a cognitive disorder, but rather as having a multi-sensory system disorder that interferes with the input, processing, and appropriate response to information obtained via the child's central nervous system. As a result, when appropriate intervention is applied to deficits in the functions of the sensory systems, learning occurs.