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For Parents: Preparing for the School Year

Jul 30, 2012 -- 8:03 pm
From the Indiana Resource Center For Autism, by Dr. Cathy Pratt, BCBA-D, Director, Indiana Resource Center for Autism

Anticipating the beginning of the school year can be a time of high anxiety for both parents and their sons or daughters. Parental concerns such as will my child be successful in the new school year both academically and socially as well as will his/her new teachers command a good understanding of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) seem magnified with all the unknowns that the new school year brings. At times, you may know staff and have a good working relationship with them. 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 had previous experience with students with autism spectrum disorders or may only have had experience with students quite different than your son/daughter. The Indiana Resource Center for Autism’s (IRCA) website at, has several articles that can help educators better understand ASD. Topics addressed include the learning characteristics associated with ASD and teaching strategies. Parents need to proactively educate. Provide information, but do not overwhelm with educators with too much information. Identify the autism leader in you special education planning district. The list can be found at: Your local special education district autism leader may be able to assist with training or support.

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