Schools For Autistic Students – Along the autism spectrum, a path through campus life, How online school lets students with autism thrive, Anxiety in school, Getting students with autism through high school, to college and beyond, Early autism may not last a lifetime, Best schools for high functioning autism
With careful planning and preparation, the transition from elementary school to middle school can be a very positive time in the life of your child with autism.
Planning and preparation for the transition should ideally begin around the beginning of year 6. It should include working with elementary and secondary school staff on things like:
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If you need help communicating or working with schools, a support person or advocate may be a good option for you.
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The Middle School Transition Plan is a tool for sharing information about your child with middle school staff. This information helps staff understand your child’s abilities, disabilities or conditions, as well as learning and other needs.
It is also important to discuss and agree on how the transition plan and any other information about your child will be shared between high school staff.
Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to involve your child in developing transition plans. This gives them an opportunity to ask questions, express concerns and share their preferences. This will help your child feel valued and included.
As part of your planning, it is important to talk to the school about support and adjustment for your child in high school. You may want to share the kinds of supports that helped your child in elementary school and find out how they might work in middle school.
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The school may also need to plan some adjustments so that your child can learn well, feel comfortable and be included in school life. These may include adjustments to things like:
It’s also a good idea to talk to school staff about a system for communicating about your child’s progress and recording key decisions about your child. For example, you can make regular calls or meetings with the school’s special education coordinator, or use a communication app.
Your child’s individual learning plan outlines your child’s learning goals for the coming year and explains how the school will help your child achieve those goals. You will work with your child’s student support group to develop this plan.
One of the key ways to prepare your child to start middle school is to attend orientation days and programs. You can also request additional orientation visits so your child can meet key staff in person and get to know different parts of the school.
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If you can arrange these extra visits, it is good to visit them several times over a longer period until your child feels ready to go regularly. It may help to mark the dates on the calendar so you can show your child how many days until the next visit. You can count the days with your child.
During your child’s first week at school, it’s important to arrange a meeting with your main contact at school to check if things are going as planned.
After a few weeks, you can organize a support group for your child to assess how your child is living and coping. It’s also a great opportunity to celebrate your child’s achievements, keep the momentum going and plan for the rest of the term or year.
Your child’s transition and learning plan can be helpful in planning your child’s next big transition—that is, from high school to another educational setting or workplace. Many children with autism attend mainstream high schools, public or private. Mainstream high schools support children with autism in many ways. For example, in some mainstream public high schools, children attend special classes alongside some mainstream classes. Or schools can provide aides or extra teachers to support students with autism in mainstream classes.
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Specialized high schools cater specifically for children and adolescents with additional needs. These schools have criteria to determine who can attend them. Some schools are for children with intellectual disabilities, which may include some children with autism. Others are specialized schools for children with autism.
All children have the right to a place in their designated public high school. The Disability Education Standards in the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 set out the rights of students with disabilities. The standards say how educational providers, such as schools, should support these students.
You can start by finding out about the school that might be right for your child. Check school websites for information, talk to other parents and your child’s primary teacher and ask your child what they think.
Many schools organize open days, information evenings and visits in April or May each year. Attending school information evenings or open days will give you and your child an overview of the schools and some insight into the facilities. These are also good opportunities to meet the Principal, Year Coordinator and Special Education Coordinator.
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You can also make private appointments at any time to visit schools and talk to key staff about support programs and policies.
By the end of year 5 you can aim to have a list of schools. And when your child is in 6th grade, visit the school on your list and hear your child’s feedback.
It’s good to involve your child in making decisions about big issues like middle school. Your child’s involvement will help you choose an option that is comfortable for you and your child.
When choosing a high school for your child, many of the things to think about are the same for all children. They include:
Starting Secondary School & Autism
It’s also a good idea to find out about the resources and programs the school can offer to support your child’s specific needs in learning, social relationships, independence, well-being, etc.
For some children with autism, the transition to middle school can be easier if they go to the same school as their friends. This can increase children’s well-being, confidence and sense of belonging to the high school community. Other children with autism may like the idea of a fresh start away from their elementary school children. Dedicated to helping children with autism live fuller and more independent lives, ABLE Kids serves children ages 2-6 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Services include applied behavior analysis (ABA), occupational therapy and speech therapy. ABLE Kids’ goal is for every child to succeed in all aspects of life. Locations in Tucker and Roswell.
Offering home-based behavioral therapy for children and young adults ages 0-21, Applied ABC strives to provide the best clinical techniques possible for children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and other pervasive developmental disorders. An ABA-trained therapist will come to your home to provide your child with the behavioral therapy that best meets his or her treatment goals.
Cottage School provides opportunities for students in grades 4-12 with mild to moderate learning differences to succeed. TCS focuses on the three pillars of success – academics, socialization and emotional health – and strives to meet the needs of every child who can find success in a non-traditional learning environment.
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College preparatory teacher for students with special needs and Asperger’s, ADD, ADHD and other learning differences. Fully accredited and small class. Cumberland Academy is an exceptional school for exceptional students. Grades 4-12.
Developmental problems affect the whole family, not just the individual child. GCADP develops a comprehensive plan to help the child and their family thrive. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Mark Moncino and learn how GCADP can help.
Dr. Reet Sidhu is a developmental specialist with over 25 years of experience evaluating children and adults for autism, ADHD, and a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Sidhu and his team believe in working closely with schools, therapists and parents to get children on the path to reaching their full potential.
Marcus Autism Center is dedicated to helping children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They offer comprehensive assessment, diagnostic services, behavioral therapy and research programs for families living with ASD.
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The Mill Springs community is dedicated to the academic, physical and social growth of students who do not reach their full potential in traditional classroom settings. An engaging and challenging learning environment maximizes individual potential and ensures that students at all levels are well prepared for success in school and in life.
Piedmont School of Atlanta provides children with learning, language, and social problem solving and an education that meets their individual academic, social, and emotional needs, preparing them to engage actively and independently in their communities.
ReClif is a fitness-based therapy center that offers personalized and innovative training regimens designed to create opportunities for participants to thrive at their best. Based on the core belief that everyone is competent, regardless of their perceived limitations, ReClif offers unique solutions to the problem of autism.
The Rubin Center demystifies confusion about the autism spectrum and empowers families and children to lead successful lives. The physical, developmental and social characteristics of each child are integrated into a diagnostic understanding to create a systematic plan that provides practical guidance and a way for the child and family.
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Threshold Community is a unique therapeutic and educational program for participants from adolescence to adulthood that strengthens autonomy, emotional regulation, social communication and relationship building skills. Tuition-based summer programs and hourly services are available. Education can play a big role in any child’s life, but it can be even more important for
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