Cathy Pratt, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is the director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at Indiana University. She served as the Autism Society’s board chairperson and currently is on the advisory boards of Maap Services, the College Internship Program and the Autism Society of Indiana.
For Parents: Transitioning From Summer to Back-to-School
Anticipating the beginning of the school year can create anxiety for both family members and for their sons/daughters on the autism spectrum. Concerns surround whether your son/daughter will be successful in school and whether the new staff will have a solid understanding of autism spectrum disorders and of your son/daughter. At times, you may know staff and have a good working relationship with them. At other times, staff is unknown and expectations for your son/daughter are unclear. Below are a few tips to help you become a proactive and positive advocate for your son/daughter.
Many teachers may not have previous experience with students with autism spectrum disorders or may only have had experience with students quite different than your son/daughter. The IRCA website has several articles that can help educators better understand ASD, including learning characteristics associated with ASD and teaching strategies. Proactively educate. Provide information, but do not overwhelm with too much information. Identify the autism leader in you special education planning district. The list for Indiana can be found here. Your local special education district autism leader may be able to assist with training or support.
Read the rest of the article through the Indiana Resource Center for Autism.