Carrie Brazer, founder and owner of the Carrie Brazer Center for Autism, is a Miami Native who went to Killian High School and graduated from Florida International University with a Master’s degree in Special Education. Her greatest accomplishment and honor is being a mom to her two boys, Max and Jacob, ages 16 and 7. Her life’s mission is to teach other moms and dads how to parent democratically, giving their child a say in all decisions which fosters independence and cooperation. She prides herself on her parenting style called “Positive Discipline” and offers her training classes to all parents in the community.
She transformed her school after becoming a certified Positive Discipline Educator to integrate the Positive Discipline approach in the daily lives of all her students. Teachers speak kindly but firmly to the children, always offering them choices. They encourage them with a loving and nurturing tones, never yelling and never using time out. They refrain from all punishments and don’t need to use rewards to bribe the children. Instead, the children look forward to contributing and are intrinsically motivated.
The entire staff is like family, and this approach has helped reduce turnover to almost null. The school family is unique and like no other specialized school for children with ADD and Autism. The children and staff cannot wait to come to school each day. Their smiling faces show it all.
Carrie looks forward to giving you a tour of her school and is always hands on. Please call today to make an appointment today at 305-271-8790.
What we are
The Carrie Brazer Center for Autism is a proud “Positive Discipline School” and one of the only in Florida for students on the Autism Spectrum. The Positive Discipline approach teaches children, teachers, staff and parents to be encouraging to each other and to themselves. It is a whole school model designed to teach everyone in the school to have a role that creates a sense of belonging and significance.
Every relationship is nurturing and deeply respectful. The environment is inviting and teaches everyone to be responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their school family.
The Carrie Brazer Center for Autism seeks to build relationships and create a school climate for successful student learning. We endeavor to establish strong meaning and connection for students, families and staff in social and academic contexts by implementing principles of mutual respect and encouragement.
The purpose of the Carrie Brazer Center for Autism is to design an individual program to meet the specific educational, developmental and emotional needs of each and every child and family.
We strive to strengthen, educate and empower families who have children with autism and other developmental delays by practicing the principles of Positive Discipline as developed by Jane Nelson, Ed.D., and Lynn Lott, M.F.C.C.
Five Criteria for Positive Discipline:
1. Helps children feel a sense of connections. (Belonging and Significance)
2. Is mutually respectful and encouraging. (Firm and kind at the same time.)
3. Is effective long-term. (Considers what the child is thinking, feeling, learning and deciding about himself and his world – and what to do in the future to survive or to thrive.)
4. Teaches important social and life skills. (Respect, concern for others, problem solving, and cooperation as well as the skills to contribute to the home, school or larger community.)
5. Invites children to discover how capable they are. (Encourages the constructive use of personal power and autonomy.)
About Our School
The Carrie Brazer Center for Autism specializes in serving students diagnosed with classical Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other social and communicative disabilities, including Asperger’s Disorder, high functioning autism, and nonverbal learning disabilities. Our program cons n ists of highly structured, consistent, cognitive and community based instruction based solely on the principles of positive reinforcement through the school and camp curriculum. The Center strives to meet each child’s educational and behavioral
goals. Individual programs are designed to meet the specific educational, developmental and emotional needs of each child and family. We provide a 1:1 teacher/student ratio for those who need it.
One of the most under utilized, yet effective treatment for autistic children is exercise! Several research studies have shown that vigorous or strenuous exercise is often associated with decreases in stereotypical behaviors, hyperactivity, aggression, self injury, and destructiveness. Free play on the playground and organized basketball and field games are also part of the after school program with emphasis on individual teaching, building gross motor skills, increasing time on task, focus and cooperation and following directions in a group. On Saturday mornings and our Camp Days on holidays and teacher workdays throughout the school year we provide three hours of intensive, hands on, educational training, behavior modification and cognitive sensory based activities from 9am-12pm. The afternoon consists of community based instruction which includes activities designed to increase fine and gross motor skills, as well as language and muscular development. Our “Super Saturday” and our “Camp Day ” programs consists of wonderfully planned, fun filled field trips from 12pm-4pm such as horseback riding, ice skating, and bowling, swimming in the ocean, and much, much more!!! This much needed program gives children a head start for the school, as they make “Leaps & Bounds” on Saturdays building their confidence and self esteem while socializing, interacting, and just having fun!
The Carrie Brazer Center offers a unique camp program for children with autism and other developmental delays. The program, “Camping by the Sea,” is held at local acquatic venues such as the Matheson Hammocks Nature Center in Coral Gables or the Biscayne Nature Center on beautiful Crandon Beach in Key Biscayne. Our specialized curriculum incorporates literacy skills, music and art therapy, physical fitness and an appreciation and understanding of Florida’s natural environment, for a science-based marine biology learning experience. Our program incorporated Crandon Beach Adventures and the Matheson Hammocks Nature Center’s environmental educational tours. The Carrie Brazer Center specializes in teaching children with autism in a structured and positive environment.
Based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, our highly trained and qualified staff work closely together collaborating their efforts. Our team includes special education teachers, and behavior technicians. We keep our teacher to student ratio small, enabling us to give each child the individual attention that he or she needs. Parents can also opt for 3:1 or 1:1 instruction for an additional fee.
Our staff will work together to develop individual academic goals and behavioral goals and objectives for each child. Our program enriches the lives of autistic children by introducing a significant reading/literacy component based on nature, with hands-on demonstrations and explorations. These activities include, but are not limited to sensory enrichment in the aquarium touch and feel tanks,
walking on nature hikes, and exploring the ocean.
Another unique asset of our program is our comprehensive physical education program in which children will be engaged in organized sports and games led by
an adaptive physical education teacher.
We also provide daily opportunities for free play on the playground and beaches
and swimming in beautiful Crandon Park Beach’s ocean or the man-made atoll pool, which is flushed naturally with the tidal action of nearby Biscayne Bay at Matheson Hammocks Park. Additionally, we participate in weekly community based outings to various places in the local area such as the MIami Seaquarium, Sailing with Shake-a-Leg of Miami, Super Wheels Skating Center, Miami Children’s Museum, Zoo Miami and much, much more.
Children will become familiar with their own community, as well as learn to transfer social and cognitive skills taught in the classroom to the environment in which they live.
Autistic children benefit from a constant routine. Our schedule is structured very carefully to meet the needs of our special children. Camp Days on Mondays and Wednesdays are held at water-based aquatic centers. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have activities at the center which include water slides and bounce houses, sports activities, arts & crafts, communication skills and social skills games. Our campers practice the skills they learn in the classroom setting such as counting, using money, reading street signs, using pictures to make requests and exhibiting appropriate behavior and generalize them in the community.
We have certified ABA therapists available to provide therapy for our campers throughout the day. “Camping by the Sea” is designed to ensure that each of our special children have the “Vacation of their Lives!”
Behavior Modification is an integral part of healing the child with autism. The Carrie Brazer Center for Autism offers your child a special opportunity to receive 1:1 ABA therapy in a loving and nurturing environment.
Our staff incorporates the principles of Positive Discipline throughout each day as well as the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. The curriculum is highly individualized, hands on, and designed to address the specific needs of each client.
The school day integrates the behavioral and academic goals or each student in a 1:1 ratio in a classroom setting within a small group incorporating traditional classroom learning and socialization with 1:1 ABA therapy.
We will follow through with your child’s IEP and Behavioral Plan objectives from school throughout the school year so that each child can continue to make academic and social gains. Students will work closely with our RBT’s and Behavioral Assistants. We also have the option of therapy with a BCaBA or BCBA. Our services include full ABA therapy evaluations and academic assessments.
We accept many private insurance plans for Behavioral Health (ABA) Therapy. Our highly trained teachers and therapists provide intensive instruction using the methods of applied Behavior Analysis. Applied in a comprehensive, intensive and sustained way, we carefully plan learning opportunities for children and reinforce desired behaviors at a high rate. Each behavioral intervention is highly individualized and tailored to each child’s current levels of functioning and projected future.
Because parental involvement is a crucial component of effective behavioral changes, we provide opportunities for parents to learn and practice ABA interventions during therapy. Early behavioral intervention greatly improves language, social skills, play, self help and problematic behavior such as tantrums, stereotypic and ritualistic responding, withdrawal, self injury and aggression. Successful integration in regular schools is another positive effect that is well supported by data.
Many studies have shown that music instruction can be beneficial to children and that music actually increases their intellectual and creative development. Through structured, goal oriented music therapy experiences, children often improve receptive and expressive language skills. They develop social skills, learn self help skills, and refine their sensory and motor skills. Non communicative children are often able to become actively engaged in music experiences and can practice building relationships with others through musical interactions. During music, children are engaged in activities that are designed to promote social and emotional learning. Music therapy groups are especially effective in providing practice of learning skills necessary for effective learning in typical classroom settings including following directions, making requests, turn taking, sharing and joint attention skills. Our program is especially designed to offer the widest possible range of sound and rhythmic experiences for children. Children are encouraged to sing along and play instruments, whistle, clap, stomp, chant and dance to favorite songs!
We also offer Music Therapy Groups! Your child can participate in fun and educational group sessions designed to practice building relationships with others during musical interactions. These groups provide practice of learning skills necessary for effective learning in typical classroom settings. These 45 minute sessions are held on Saturdays.
Horseback Riding & Swimming:
Horseback riding is a hands-on education program that uses the interactions and relationships between horses and humans in an environment of learning and self-discovery. It is designed to promote personal growth and the development of positive social/life skills in a fun and supportive environment. Through a curriculum of activities designed to address individual goals and needs, each equine interaction is framed to help participants learn and grow. The barn/farm environment naturally lends itself as a unique multi-sensory classroom. The students participate weekly at the barn learning how to groom, feed, bathe, saddle and tack the horses. Each student will ride once per week for 30 minutes. During the unmounted time they will be learning horsemanship, identifying parts of the horse, taking part in fun outdoor scavenger hunts, playing in the water to cool off and participating in great activities around horses to get comfortable and familiar with all the great attributes of horses. Our older students will perform jobs such as separating grain and hay, shoveling shavings for the stalls, and more. Our staff assists the instructors with our children in the pool.
The children learn to swim and enjoy some free time in the open water
awakening all of their senses. The Carrie Brazer Center for Autism offers swimming classes as part of our physical education program. Our students are given swimming lessons at the Dave and Mary Alper JCC in Kendall. Water safety is especially important for children with emotional, behavioral, and communication disorders. All children need to learn to swim. In the situation of a child who is less aware of his surrounding and challenged with communication, it is even more crucial. Swimming is beneficial to the physical and mental health of children on the autism spectrum.