B.E.S.T. Model

Broad-based Educational Services & Therapies.

Serving Students with Significant Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Autism presents differently in every child, which is why we believe that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to education. Our proprietary Verbal Behavior programing utilizes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) strategies to improve language-based social and leisure skills, build fine motor skills, reduce maladaptive behaviors, and generalize these skills in real-life situations. Our goal is to create a skill set for each student that supports their independence, which can lead to establishing a functional path for their future, both at home and in their daily lives.

Angel’s Story

Before coming to Sierra Academy, Angel’s behavior was erratic, destructive and oftentimes violent, putting himself and those around him at risk. After being removed from nearly 10 programs, no one would accept Angel, so his struggles and shortcomings were, unfortunately, not being addressed effectively. The faculty and staff at Sierra School knew that earning Angel’s trust, fostering positive social interactions and getting him involved in academic activities that resonated with him would ensure his focus and attention and reduced disruptive outbursts.

Hear more about Angel’s story from Sierra School’s director, Angel’s teacher, and his mother.

Our B.E.S.T. Model

The focus of our model is to take learned skills and practically apply them to the multiple environments in which a student would use those skills. Students spends portions of their day rotating through different modalities of instruction, the length and the frequency of each rotation is individuality designed for each learner and based on their current skills and future goals.


Motor Lab

Through our Motor Labs, students move through sequence of progressive skills, which increase fine and gross motor abilities, students build motor skills and an understanding of their environment. Students may also have the opportunity to interact with peers during their time in Motor Lab.


Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT)

DTT is an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) strategy that is structured and fast-paced. Through 1:1 instruction, staff work to break down a student’s specific language skill into smaller “trials.” By breaking down these skills, we attempt to build up a brand-new skill. This is accomplished through repetition and a high frequency of reinforcement.


Natural Environment Teaching (NET)

Students take part in language-based social, play, and leisure activities that provide real-life simulations to generalize skills gained during Motor Lab and DTT.

Behavioral Management & Support

Each student enrolled in the B.E.S.T. Model has individualized behavior programming which is driven by Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA). We aim to identify the behaviors that continue to disrupt our student’s ability to access their environment and learning. We then use the data collected from the FBA and classroom data to device strategies that get to the root function of the students disrupted behaviors. Always giving them tools develop positive replacement behaviors. Our Behavior Management System is reinforced through the use of 6 effective teaching strategies.