Have you ever considered where you would turn if your young child, not yet ready for school, exhibited signs of delayed development? If questions mounted and answers seemed missing?
Allendale Public Schools wants you to know, we’re here.
START stands for Statewide Autism Resource and Training, and is available to children whose testing reveals they may lie on the Autism Spectrum (ASD). While this post is not intended to provide medical information, early indicators of concern may include:
- failing to hit key social, cognitive and emotional developmental milestones
- learning to babble, gesture, speak and/or interact, but then regressing and losing those abilities
- struggling to relate to others and/or the world around them
Bill Patteuw, an APS social social worker, notes that teachers working with the START program commit to on-going training, meeting 1-2 times per month from October to April. These individuals work to learn research-based techniques and teaching strategies that, while certainly beneficial to all students, are specifically aimed at helping children with autism clear the path to reach their individual potentials.
Funded by the State of Michigan through grant monies, the program draws on the expertise of a multi-disciplinary team comprised of the school social worker, special education teachers, a general education teacher, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, autism consultant and parents. Mr. Patteuw commented that although ” parent involvement is critical and … strongly suggested by the facilitators of this series, parent involvement seems to be unique to our district. The parents involved on our team have been present and have been active participants.”
Some of the cognitive and behavior teaching strategies this team is currently employing (or will be learning) include:
- Foundations of Effective Practice for Young Students with ASD
- Stucturing the Environment to Promote Learning Opportunities and Engagement
- Intensive Teaching for Young Children with ASD
- Structuring Play
- Behavior Support
- Transition Planning/Implementation
Of the program, Mr. Patteuw says:
“Having this START training opportunity for our students, parents, and staff is amazing! We are extremely blessed to have GVSU in our backyard, which is where the statewide START program originated! These local resources are invaluable in assisting, teaching and developing staff that are working with students on the Autism Spectrum to promote successful learning opportunities. Our staff will be working hard to implement these strategies and continue to serve all students to the best of our ability.”
Thanks to Mr. Patteuw and the team of dedicated APS staff who work tirelessly to provide excellence in education to all our students!
If you have a question or concern about your child, please contact Bill Patteuw at: firstname.lastname@example.org.