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The Guided Intervention Supported Transition (GIST) Program supports inclusion for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental delays.The model follows best practice intervention guidelines for supporting students with ASD by: 

  • Providing evidence-based intervention techniques in an intensive, modified classroom setting.
  • Building capacity among classroom staff including teachers, Therapeutic Assistants and educational assistants for success in the regular classroom. 
  • Transitions back to community schools are successful using this model.



GIST is a short term transitional program for children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder. GIST provides skill-based assessment and short-term intensive behavioural intervention to students who may not yet have all of the skills required to succeed in a regular classroom. Each child is accompanied to the GIST classroom by their home school Educational Assistant or Therapeutic Assistant who learns how to identify, measure, and implement various strategies to manage problem behaviour and teach new skills. Professional learning is also offered to home school staff on a regular basis. Students may be eligible if they hold any of the following diagnoses and present with a severe skill deficit that significantly impacts their ability to function in an inclusive classroom:

• Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Down Syndrome
• Intellectual Disability
• Global Developmental Delay
• Fragile X Syndrome
• Angelman Syndrome
 • William’s Syndrome


ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by skill deficits in the areas of social communication and interaction, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour. It is a well-known, research-based fact that most children with ASD do not learn through observation alone and require intensive intervention and practice to learn the same skills that “typical” learners acquire naturally. To address this, GIST uses techniques based in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) which is the most research-supported intervention for teaching skills to children with ASD. Applied Behaviour Analysis uses the principles of learning and behaviour (e.g. reinforcement) to systematically teach relevant skills and improve functioning in a real world setting.


CFDL @ St. Gabriel School
5540 106 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

Admission into GIST is based on:

  • A referral made in consultation with the community school, parents, Inclusive Consultant, Specialists, and GIST staff.
  • Priority may be given based on severity of skill deficits, other supports available, and additional factors.


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