Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are conditions characterized by the three core deficits of autism:
- Problems with social relatedness
- Difficulties with communication and language
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, activities or interests
The word “spectrum” expresses the variability within and across these areas of challenge, for there are many possible combinations and levels of ability and disability. What is important, above all, is to see each person with an autism spectrum disorder as an individual first. Each person has their specific set of strengths and weaknesses, and beyond that mere tally of ability, their own personality, spirit, and will. Honoring that must always come first.
Due to the increasing numbers of students being diagnosed within autism spectrum disorders, school districts are continually facing the challenges of how to best serve these students within the least restrictive environment. In order to assist districts with these responsibilities, the lead support teacher for autism and the IU Autism training and consultation staff are available for district support.
Autism Support staff are available to work with all districts in the Intermediate Unit 1 service area. Roles and responsibilities include providing consultative and training services to teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, and parents. Additionally, staff attend Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meetings; provide materials preparation; facilitate the use of environmental strategies, communication strategies, assistive technology; and conducts disability specific trainings, all with the goal of ensuring that best practices in the field of autism are utilized when providing services to these students.
Autism Speaks Toolkits
- Thinking Outside the Box for Autism Parents (PDF Document)
- Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit (PDF Document)
- Community Connections Dental Guide (PDF Document)
- Exploring Feeding Behavior in Autism: A Parent’s Guide (PDF Document)
- Haircutting Training Guide (PDF Document)
- Postsecondary Educational Opportunities Guide (PDF Document)
- Puberty and Adolescence Resource: A Guide for Parents of Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (PDF Document)
- Puzzle Piece Project and Autism Awareness Month (PDF Document)
K.A.R.E. Resource Guide
For More Information
For more information on these Autism Support services, please contact:
Dr. Kristin J. Szewczyk
Assistant Executive Director/Title IX Coordinator
724-938-3241 ext. 242