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This week assignment is research and evaluate resources in your community for parents and service providers of students with ASD, specifically in regard to communication.

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1.(SHY) SPECTRA Center in Colorado is a center that is specifically for people who have ASD. SPECTRA works with all ages of people and had a wide range of services. I chose SPECTRA because they have a program that is strictly for best-practice strategies that have been proven to work for people with ASD. Therefore, in the area of communication, the people working there are expert on the devices and have a system for tracking data to quickly find the best device for that individual. Additionally, SPECTRA has a school so, if a student requires a specialized program, they can attend the school that is fit to their needs.

When sharing this information, I often bring it up at IEP meetings. A part of the transition IEP talks about community programs that the student is involved with. I am going to add SPECTRA to my list of community programs that assist students with all types of disabilities. In the public school setting, we do have to be careful to not recommend a particular service or one particular agency so, just in case things do not workout, we are not to blame. It’s tricky to navigate, which is why I have a list of options then the parent can choose.

2.(LL) In Pennsylvania there are many resources for families, related service providers, and teachers on children with ASD. Some include PA autism and Autism York. Autism York is a resource for parents and families in the county in which I live. This website provides multiple resources in which parents can use to look into AAC, talk to other families that have children that use AAC. They also provide additional websites to look into that explain AAC. Another great resource is PAttan which is Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network. This explains how AAC works for communicating, reading, writing as well as how to go about to receive AAC and the funding. This is a great resource for parents and teachers.

A local university, Penn State, also offers a national AAC conference as well as an autism conference every year. These conferences provide strategies, implication for practice, and directions for future research and development.

These resources are great as we often use PAttan in our school districts for trainings. PAttan will also provide parent trainings if our school district requests it and if we have enough parent interest. I have had parents interested in devices but have no idea how to go about to get them or use them. I have mentioned using a few of these resources to them already. Autism York is great because it is local and provides a great support system for families as it allows families across the county that also have a family member that has ASD.




3. (Ania) There are many valuable resources that help parents and service provider to be current with news and strategies used to assist students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some of my favorite sources involve Autism Speak, Parent to Parent of Miami, and the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Last month, Autism speak sponsored a walk at Doral City where different services providers were sharing knowledge and assisted the child by donating money to help these kids develop appropriate communication and social interaction . Parents to parents is another resource that assists parents to understand their rights and responsibilities. This great source shows parents different ways to advocate for their child. Miami-Dade is a county that is very involved with everything related with ASD. When it comes to communication, the best source for intervention is Dade County Public Schools.

Dade County Public School supports a wide variety of services such as Occupational therapies, Physical therapies, and Speech therapies. All these interventions involve communication supports and academic supports as well. Dade County Public provides services at school or at home (homebound services). These services support students learning and provide a lot of information that relate ASD. It even comprises a section on Augmentative Alternative Communication that shows how to use AAC devices to assist students with communication needs. Dade County also has pages that connect links to websites that are helpful for parents and service providers.

Dade schools: http://www.dadeschools.net

Tuesday's Verse

How does this verse relate to the topic of teaching students with special needs?

Mark 6:34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.

Thursday Bible Verse: How does this verse provide peace to those who educate or provide services for students with special needs?

Psalm 31:24

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

Friday Bible Verse:

How might this verse prove that teachers can indeed make a difference for those who have special needs? Explain.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

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