Programs for Children & Teens

All of our programs are offered to children and teens in the community.  Please contact Tammy Goddard, Director of ALLY Advocacy Center, with any questions at: or 703.777.1939 ext 207.

Here is a list of direct services that we provide at Paxton Campus: Direct Services at Paxton

Click on one of the topics below to find out more information:



Welcome! We are excited to begin the process of creating an after school program for children with and without disabilities that focuses on social skills. Aurora is a private day school that uses teaching practices that are derived primarily from applied behavior analysis (ABA): Positive reinforcement, continuous measurement of learning, and strategic/tactical data analysis based on graphic displays are cornerstones of the program. Verbal behavior, academic literacy, reading, social skills, self-management and problem-solving skills are all systematically taught via well researched, commercially available scripted curricula, as well as curricula developed in-house by our teachers and behavior analysts. The focus of the social skills group will be based on the skill acquisition recommended by the VB MAPP which was developed by Dr. Mark Sundberg and based upon the works of B.F. Skinner.
social skills for 10 to 16 yearsWe currently have one program available, one for children ages 6–16. Groups consist of up to 6 participants and at least two staff. Our programs are designed to teach children with Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism ways to appropriately interact with their peers and within the community. In some cases, there will be additional children, who are typically developing, taking part to provide peer support and role models for participants. The groups meet once a week for an hour over the course of twelve weeks.  The groups focus on increasing understanding of self and others as well as developing communication and conversation skills. Development of skills is taught through functional activities such as games, cooking, collaborative art projects and role play that are meant to be fun as well as education.

For the 2015-2016 School Year:
–  10-16 year old groups meet on Tuesdays at 5:30pm.

Focus and Goals of the Program

Children with social skills deficits face a number of challenges including difficulty communication their needs to others, getting along with their peers and developing friendships.  These children may need assistance to improve their awareness of self and others and to develop their communication skills.  Our programs are designed to teach children with Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism ways to appropriately interact with their peers and within the community.

The program focuses on such skills as:

  • Identifying one’s own emotions and the emotions of others;
  • Increasing social awareness and empathy;
  • Stay on topic;
  • Understanding social cues and boundaries;
  • Actively listening and attending to others;
  • Effectively communicating wants and needs to others.

Development of skills is taught through functional activities such as games, recreational activities and collaborative art projects that allow the participants to practice the skills in a naturalistic context.  Additionally, video modeling and role play provide opportunity for instruction, practice and feedback to enhance the learning process.

Ideal candidates for the programs are those who:

  • Possess basic vocal communication skills (have the ability to inititate and respond to peers) but need support in learning to communicate effectively with peers and within the social community;
  • Are able to independently remain seated and engaged in an activity for a ten minute period;
  • Are independent in their self-help skills;
  • Do not engage in aggression, self-injurious behavior or intense disruption (throwing objects, knocking over furniture) so as to ensure the safety of the other group members and the well-functioning of the group.

Groups consist of up to 6 participants and at least two staff.  In some cases there will be additional children, who are typically developing, taking part to provide peer support and role models for participants.  The group meets once a week for one hour over the course of twelve weeks.  Placement in a group is determined by the student’s age as well as areas of need.

Enrolling Your Child

In order to determine appropriate placement in the social skills group, enrollment in the program is influenced by the child’s development level. To begin the enrollment process, download the Questionnaire and Intake Form from this page (Click on REGISTER HERE) and fill out the form.  Return the form to Tammy Goddard, Director of ALLY Advocacy Center at Paxton Campus, via email or fax—703-777-1935.

Forms will be reviewed and an intake appointment may then be scheduled as a follow up to gather more information on the individual needs of the child.

The cost is $180 for nine sessions.  Payment is due at the end of the first session.  The first session is s trial session to further determine if the group will be an appropriate fit for the child.  If after the first session, the group is determined by the group leaders or the family that it is not an appropriate fit for the child, the family may receive a full refund.  There are no refunds once the child begins the second session.

Transition Series

For families with a child at the end of their academic career who have an IEP and disabilities that require planning.  Our transition series provides families with up-to-date, useful and valuable information on everything from housing and transportation options to Medicaid, Social Security, employment options and Mircro-boards, as well as Guardianships and special needs trusts.  We secure presenters with real, working knowledge and expertise on the topics and allow for questions and answers.  Families complete the multi-week program with a plan in place for life beyond school.

Teen/Young Adult Social Group

Paxton Pals is a social group for adolescents and young adults ages 16-20. The focus of the group is to offer participants the opportunity to join a variety of different activities within the community and develop their social skills while forming friendships and having fun. Staff from The Aurora School at Paxton Campus supervise the monthly events. All the staff are trained in Applied Behavior Analysis and  have experience working with adolescents with Autism and  Asperger’s Syndrome.

WHO SHOULD JOIN US?  Young Adult (ages 16-20) who are interested in making friends!  We accept teens and young adults with and without disabilities who are looking to foster new friendships and interested in trying new activities!

What we do: Every other week we get together and have fun  doing various activities in the community.

Some of the planned events include:

  • Bowling
  • Eating out at restaurants
  • Cookouts
  • Miniature golf
  • Laser tag
  • Water parks
  • Video games at the library
  • Recreational games and sports
  • Shopping

For more information CLICK HERE


yoga ryan 3

This course will increase social-emotional health, empathy, focus, self-expression and the ability to calm the body and mind. Using developmentally appropriate exercises for breathing, relaxation and physical body movement, this series joyfully and meaningfully integrates yoga postures with dance, movement, music and song in a balanced, energetic and fun way!  The children will experience their whole selves in motion, stillness and in creativity.  Participants must be able to follow basic directions and be physically mobile.

This course will be led by Warin Tepayayone, MAs, BC-DMT, NCC, Founder of Iriya Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling Services.

CLICK HERE for our current schedule.

Please contact Tammy Goddard, Director of ALLY Advocacy Center, to register your child or with any questions at: or 703.777.1939 ext 207.


CLICK HERE for the current movie!

We have partnered with Cobb Theatres to provide first run Sensory Sensitive movies for families and friends of Paxton Campus.  Some people ask, “What is a sensory sensitive movie?”  Families of children with autism are familiar with this term, but some people aren’t.  A sensory sensitive movie is one that has lowered volume and raised lights.  Both are at about 50% of a typical film. But, you don’t notice the difference at all, and it is a joyous experience for our families, as going to typical films with the advanced volume and dark lights can be difficult for children with sensory issues.  Cobb Theatres has become a great partner of Paxton, and we are thrilled we can offer these movies to our families! Please check the website and our facebook pages for the latest movies, and to RSVP for a free ticket to the next showing, email Tammy Goddard

SIBSHOPS – Sibling Group

CLICK HERE to download an application

sibshops logoSibshops acknowledge that being the brother or sister of a person with special needs is for some a good thing, others a not-so-good thing, and for many, somewhere in-between. They reflect a belief that brothers and sisters have much to offer one another — if they are given a chance. Sibshops are a spirited mix of new games (designed to be unique, off-beat, and appealing to a wide ability range), new friends, and discussion activities.

$10/participant per session

For children ages 7-12 years old who have a sibling with a special need.  This is not a therapy group but a fun and safe space for children with siblings with special needs to meet other children in the same situation, who can share their experiences and feelings, discuss their joys and challenges.  FUN, FOOD and FRIENDS!

Please contact Tammy Goddard, Director of ALLY Advocacy Center, with any questions at: or 703.777.1939 ext 207.

CLICK HERE to download an application



Kendra McDonald

Kendra McDonald, BS, BCaBA

Kendra began her career in behavior analysis after her son was diagnosed with autism in 2002. Following the successful implementation of his home program, she worked as an in-home ABA therapist for other families affected with autism. She completed her graduate coursework from UMASS Lowell and secured her BCaBA in 2010. She is enrolled in the Masters of Psychology (BCBA Foundation) Program at The Chicago School of Psychology. She also currently holds a provisional special education teaching license. Kendra emphasizes the principles of verbal behavior across all teaching opportunities including communication, social skills, and academics.


Warin Tepayaone, M.A.s, BC-DMT, NCCwarin

Warin is a Board-Certified Dance/Movement Therapist and National Certified Counselor. She holds dual master’s degrees in Dance/Movement Therapy and Social Psychology. She has extensive experience working with children diagnosed with Autism, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy and many other disorders, using both verbal and nonverbal psychotherapy approaches. She also has worked extensively with Adult in-patient psychiatric services as well as Geriatric populations with mixed diagnoses such as Dementia, Parkinson’s and others.

Warin serves as a guest lecture in Movement Observation course and Cultural Influences for graduate students in many universities and organizations. She has given presentations on Cultural and Dance/Movement Therapy at both national and international conferences as well.

Her love of Thai Classical Dance and other dance forms led her into pursuing a career in Dance Movement Psychotherapy. Through therapeutic relationships with her patients, Warin uses dance and movements to help facilitate patients in the changing of feelings, cognition, physical functioning, and behaviors.