Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) classrooms serve students grades K-3 with disabilities.  The ABA classrooms provide individual and small group teaching in a structured environment. The ABA method identifies behaviors that should be eliminated while teaching and reinforcing positive behaviors.

Additionally there are three ABA early childhood classrooms for children ages 2-5 in Bend, Redmond and Madras. These programs are run by High Desert ESD’s Early Childhood Special Education Program.


Students grades K-3 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or significant communication, learning, and behavior disabilities who benefit from an ABA structure of teaching.  Students are referred to an ABA classroom through their district’s Special Education office.

Children attending a High Desert ESD Early Childhood Special Education program are referred through their IFSP Team.

Entrance Criteria

  • The child’s learning style predominantly requires ABA approach of instruction and the child’s IEP/IFSP determines it is the least restrictive environment.
  • For school age children:
    • The student follows school routines and transitions less than 80% of the time.
    • The student requires a highly structured instruction approach for learning and generalization of skills.
    • Life skills are not the primary instructional or curricular need of the student.

Exit Criteria

  • The student does not require 1:1 assistance all day, every day, or can be either independent or in a small group for part of the day.
  • ABA is no longer the most appropriate instructional strategy.
  • The student can follow at least 80% of school routines.
  • A life skills curriculum, regular class, or Education Resource Center placement provides the most benefit to the student.
  • The student completes grade 3.

Program Locations

  • School Age Locations:
    • Bridges at Lava Ridge Elementary (Bend LaPine School District)
    • Rainbow Journeys at Sage Elementary (Redmond School District)
  • Early Childhood Locations:
    • Stepping Stones at Alyce Hatch Center, Bend
    • Little Steps at Manzanita Building, Redmond
    • Building Blocks, Madras

Teaching Strategies

  • Discrete Trial Training/Direct Instruction
  • Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
  • Functional Routines
  • Structured Teaching
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  • Inclusion
  • Discrete Trial Training/Direct Instruction

Contact Information

High Desert Education Service District
Bend Education Center
520 NW Wall St.
Bend, OR 97701
Phone: 541-693-5700
Toll Free: 1-866-910-2833
Fax: 541-693-5701