My child just received a diagnosis of autism. How do I get support for him/ her at school?
The first step is to request a special education evaluation through public school. This request must be made in writing. The letter can be short and to the point, and should be delivered to the school principal or school psychologist. You can request this evaluation through the public schools even if your child is home-schooled or attends private school. Read full post »
If you are a parent or caregiver of a school-age child with autism, you already are an expert at special education. Much of your focus has likely been on reviewing annual goals and tracking your child’s progress over the course of a school year. But at some point, it will be important and necessary to start looking at your child’s special education programming through a slightly different lens. One that looks further into the future and begins to think about and formulate the plan for your child’s transition from high school to whatever comes next. Read full post »
An IEP, or Individualized Education Program, is a document that describes a student’s special education plan. Every student who receives special education services has an IEP. Like children with autism, no two IEPs are exactly the same. The content of an IEP varies from child to child depending on his or her unique needs. An IEP is intended to be a “living, breathing” document that changes as students make progress towards their goals and as their needs change. Read full post »
The Washington State Department of Early Learning recently released new guidelines that are designed to provide direction for birth to three centers to better support children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Washington State. Importantly, the guidelines also include children who are suspected of having ASD not just those with a formal diagnosis. This is critical because many children have not been eligible for autism-specific services until they have a formal diagnosis and the wait list at specialty diagnostic clinics is often months long. These guidelines are a result of a collaborative effort by the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers at the Department of Early Learning and the Haring Center for Applied Research and Training in Education at the University of Washington. Read full post »
We recently connected with elementary school teacher, Chris Cooper, to get his perspective on teaching students with autism in a general education classroom. Here’s what he had to say:
theautismblog: Can you tell us how you became so familiar with autism?
Mr. Cooper: I am a fourth grade teacher in a general education class in Washington and I’ve had students with autism in my classroom. But 99.9% of what I know about autism comes from being a stepparent of a child with autism. Read full post »