Special Education teachers have trusted Essential Skills programs for more than 20 years to help them individualize instruction for their students with special needs. There are several reasons why our programs are so popular with Special Education teachers. The following highlights the main reasons why so many educators use Essential Skills to supplement their students individualized education plan.
Our Integrated Assessment feature ensures that ever student receives an individualized learning program tailored to their specific needs. Based on initial pretest results, each student is assigned a custom learning program to target learning gaps.
Immediate Reward & Reinforcement
Our programs provide students with immediate reward and reinforcement as they work. Whereas some programs only reward students once they have completed an entire activity or set number of questions, Essential Skills programs provide reward and reinforce correct answers immediately following each answer. Many students with special needs respond very well to this format and are highly motivated by our reward system.
Essential Skills Special Ed reading programs are designed to be engaging with very little animation or unnecessary distraction. When students are working in an activity, the focus is always on the skills. So many educational software programs are filled with repetitive animations that consume instructional time that either bore or over-stimulate students with special needs. Essential Skills programs provide engaging, focused instruction with minimal distraction.
Appropriate for All Ages
Essential Skills programs offer educators the flexibility to individualize each students’ learning experience by selecting different program themes and reward types. Most of the rewards in the programs are universally engaging to both younger and older students. We have customers working with students of all ages from elementary up to high school. We even have several adult education customers using our reading and math programs with their adult learners. Whether you’re looking for reading programs for special education high school students, adults or young primary learners, Essential Skills has a solution to fit.
Designed for All Learning Styles & Ability Levels
Every Essential Skills program includes a variety of auditory, visual and tactile activities to appeal to different learning styles. Tactile learning is addressed using typing activities. Every skill is reinforced using a blend of activities for the various learning styles. The wide range of skills offered ensures that there is something for students at almost any level of ability. Skills are presented gradually and sequentially in a logical progression with each new skill building on what came before. This helps to guarantee success for all students, regardless of learning style or ability level.
Ideal for Students with Autism
Identifying quality instructional materials for students with Autism can be a challenge. Essential Skills programs take the guess work out of finding the right reading program for students with Autism by providing the repetition and immediate reinforcement these students need. Whereas most programs use one or two activities to reinforce a skill, our programs present between five and ten activities utilizing various approaches for all leaners. It is this repetition that helps to ensure standards mastery for every student.
Developed by Special Education Teachers
Essential Skills founder taught Special Education for more than 20 years. It is this first-hand knowledge and experience that became the foundation for Essential Skills programs. Our early reading and math programs are developed using time-tested, proven strategies for teaching basic skills. Every program begins with an exhaustive research phase to ensure that the skills being taught reflect solid pedagogy and best practices. If you’re looking for research-based reading programs for your special education students, Essential Skills should be at the top of your list. Our Special Ed reading programs are developed by Special Education teachers for students with special needs and are grounded in proven research.
What Special Education Teachers Are Saying about Research Based Reading Programs for Special Education
“Essential Skills is a program that our moderate to severe cognitively challenged students have started using and they are all smiles. It is easy for them to navigate and complete the lessons. They wear headphones and the visual and auditory reinforcements are wonderful! I also found it extremely user-friendly when I entered the student groups, student names and teacher names. I am very impressed with the reports I can generate. I look forward to watching the happy students who are working on this software. Finally, programs for special needs students!”
~ Gayle M. Ryan, Special Education Teacher, Ray Graham Training Center
“Essential Skills offers the best software programs I have ever found for special needs children. I have used your programs for years. Our elementary teachers also find the assessment programs very helpful for testing and tracking their students. These programs have had a major impact on test scores with my students. Their scores have gone up at least one level each year. The children love using these programs and they are anxious to get on them every day.”
~ Sandra Howard, Special Education Teacher Grades 4-6, Greenlee Elementary
“I love the software from Essential Skills! There is lots of practice with a variety of activities utilizing different learning styles for each concept taught. The children are definitely benefitting from learning with these programs. The programs are easy to use and provide valuable progress reports. The children like it because of the great reinforcement and the fact that they can work independently at their own level and pace.”
~ Anita Francis, Special Education Teacher, South Belt Elementary
“I teach children with Autism and my husband and I also run a therapeutic home for kids with Autism. We have also adopted two children with Autism. I can say that the Essential Skills programs have transformed my children! My son is diagnosed with Autism and Apraxia. He is so immersed in the Sight Words program that that he is verbally imitating the sounds he hears, he is spelling, and reading! My daughter; who read on a pre-primer level with no comprehension in August, has recently been tested and scored a 2.3 on reading with full comprehension. What your programs do is simply amazing! I know they are not marketed directly for children with Autism, but I am telling you as parent and teacher of kids with Autism; the way they are designed is exactly what our kids need. They are repetitive and provide clear and concise verbal directions with immediate feedback. My thanks to you!”
~ Teresa Irani, CBS Teacher, Elliott Point Elementary
“My students love these programs! They are perfect for motivating special education students.”
~ Linda Payne, Special Education Teacher, Green Bank Elementary