Special Needs 2nd-6th Grade

2024-2025 Class Information

Sessions 1-4  Registration will open to the public Wednesday May 1st at 9:30am.

Before registering, please read and understand our refund and discount policies. For the SEED Social group class you will register for pre-waitlist on the system. We will then reach out to you about your registration. If you are new to Sienna Ranch or new to the SEED class we will set up a tour for you to come see the ranch and make sure the program is the right fit for your child. After the tour we will put through the final registration and collect a deposit or full payment.

Questions about our Safety Policies?  Read our Rain or Shine suggestions.

List of Class Offerings

2024-25 School Year Dates

2024-2025 School Year Dates

Registration Tips

Registration Tips and Tricks

Registration Tips and Tricks

  • For the SEED Social group class you will register for pre-waitlist on the system. We will then reach out to you about your registration. If you are new to Sienna Ranch or new to the SEED class we will set up a tour for you to come see the ranch and make sure the program is the right fit for your child. After the tour we will put through the final registration and collect a deposit or full payment.
  • Planning to use charter school funds for your program tuition? Please see our Homeschool Page for more information on how to purchase our programs and use your vouchers.
  • Have more questions about what our programs look like? Check out our FAQ page for more answers.

A group of people standing around in front of a fence.

Sienna Ranch SEED Group

Afternoon Class
GRADES: Ages 7-12 
PRICE: See our class list page
Weekly Offerings: 
Wednesday 2:15pm-3:45pm

Sienna Ranch SEED Social Group is a group program for children with special needs who are looking for a unique opportunity to participate in age-appropriate activities, hands-on learning, animal interaction, hiking, group games and social reciprocity activities at our 21 acre Ranch in the hills of Lafayette. It is a social group so it is intended for students to practice socializing with other peers their age. We always strive to find innovative, fun and effective ways to tie in all of our lessons to life on the Ranch. The Social Groups aim to leave all students with a positive association with each other, the Ranch, our animals and our environment.

NOTE ON AIDES: Sienna Ranch asks that if your student has a 1:1 behavioral aide that they attend together (extra support in this outdoor classroom sets students up for success!). We typically do not allow parent/guardians as aides. 

More Information about the SEED Program

SEED Social Group Class Requirements

Sienna Ranch SEED Social Group Students are:

  • Able to wear closed toed shoes like tennis shoes or sturdy hiking shoes (no rubber shoes like crocs are allowed)
  • Happy to get a bit dirty and be outside in all weather
  • Able to stay with a group with no more than two adult prompts
  • Curious and excited to push themselves in a different learning environment
  • Able to effectively communicate their needs (e.g., using the bathroom, needing some space)
  • Able to appropriately protest using words and/or communication device
  • Willing to work with staff if behavioral challenges come up
  • Able to follow verbal directions e.g., We’re going to the buckeye tree, Please walk in an outdoor environment filled with distractions
  • Gentle with people and animals

Note- students who are not able to do the above should be accompanied by a 1:1 aide for the duration of the class.

Every day at the Ranch, our class aims to:

  • Complete at least one hands on activity
  • Engage with peers in a positive way
  • Practice social skills
  • Learn to negotiate appropriately with both peers and adults
  • Practice effective communication
  • Maintain attention for a short period of time to both peers, adults and activities
  • Visit one of our beloved Ranch animals
  • Play a group game outside
  • Do a minimum of one physical activity

Sienna Ranch SEED Social Group Program Core Values

Our goal is to provide nurturing, engaging, social and fun experience for all children

We value a program which:

  • Develops a lifelong positive association with each other, the outdoors and animals
    • Our unique location at the Ranch allows us the freedom to enrich children’s experiences through activities, outdoors and projects
    • Small class sizes allow us to become familiar with and work with your aide and work through challenges when necessary
    • Students learn to have meaningful relationships with each other in a semi-structured, stress-free and creative environment
    • Student can develop a greater understanding and connection by working with and being with our animals
    • A greater appreciation for being outdoors, for our bodies and learning the ability to learn while outdoors
    • Creates a positive and reciprocal relationships between peers
    • An environment of total acceptance and kindness
  • Maximizes the benefit of learning at an educational ranch
    • We spend time outside each day learning about our animals, our garden, and our land
    • We endeavor to tie our curriculum to the Ranch as much as possible in imaginative, fun, and effective ways

What is Fun?

    • Fun can be exciting, trying something new and being flexible
    • Fun can be using your imagination, like telling a story or imagining what might happen if”¦
    • Fun can be being creative, like making art or building something
    • Fun can be overcoming a challenge, like finishing an activity or problem solving with a peer
    • Fun can be socializing, like laughing with friends
    • Fun can be discovery, like exploring something or somewhere new
    • Fun can be expressing yourself, like singing, chatting or telling a joke

Meet the Instructor

Lead Teacher: Lindsay Shannon

  • Lindsay Shannon has more than 18 years experience working with children ages 2-17 years of age in school settings, preschools, early intervention programs (as a manager and tutor), day-cares, IEP’s, as a private family consultant, and within outdoor education programs.
  • Prior to working with children with Autism, Lindsay worked with teenagers who are Severely Emotionally Disturbed (SED).
  • Lindsay’s experience includes, but is not limited to, making behavior plans, creating self-help and school goals, parent/staff training, facilitated peer play dates, writing ABA curriculum, behavior modification, designing teaching tools using a variety of visuals/behavioral techniques, teaching age-appropriate skills, making and supporting home programs, PECS, school support, food flexibility, sleep issues, rigidity, self-injurious behavior techniques, joint attention, flexibility, creating structure and predictability using visuals, motor skills, speech/language, OT and sensory regulation strategies.
  • Lindsay has been teaching the Sienna Ranch Social Group (formerly known as the Wellspring Class) since 2016.

Neurodiversity Resources

Resources for educators & families (also see books below)

How to talk to students about neurodiversity

Teaching Tolerance 

General articles/websites 

Self regulation information and behavioral strategies

Books for instructors/educators and parents

  • Self-Regulation Interventions and Strategies: Keeping the Body, Mind, & Emotions on Task in Children with Autism, ADHD, or Sensory Disorders By Teresa Garland
  • A Practical Guide to Autism: What Every Parent, Family Member, and Teacher Needs to Know By Fred R. Volkmar and Lisa Wiesner
  • The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder By Carol Kranowitz
  • 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s ByVeronica Zysk and Ellen Notbohm
  • The Autism Checklist: A Practical Reference for Parents and Teachers By Paula Kluth
  • An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn By Sally J. Rogers, Gerarn
  • Managing Anxiety in People with Autism: A Treatment Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Mental Health Professionals By Anne M. Chalfant