“Autism” is a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics that may be associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder are: engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The symptoms and characteristics of Autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe.
The South Coast ESD’s Early Intervention program helps identify students with Autism Spectrum Disorder from birth to age 5. If the Early Intervention team suspects Autism Spectrum Disorder as a disability for a child, the child is referred to the South Coast Education Service District (SCESD) for an evaluation which address the criteria for eligibility under that category. Services are then provided by SCESD until the child enters the public school system. Once a student is enrolled in Coos Bay Public Schools, the district will conduct the evaluations and the SCESD will provide services. The Coos Bay Intervention Team meets with the SCESD team to develop an individualized program to facilitate behavior so the child will be ready to participate in general curriculum and appropriate activities.
Upon entering our school district, Individual Educational Plans (IEP) are developed by our Autism Team. SCESD Autism specialists participate in the student’s IEP to ensure a smooth transition by providing insights how the child will be involved and ways to facilitate academic progress in the general curriculum. The Autism Team then provides consultation support to teachers, speech and language specialists, and parents. The varied educational backgrounds and experiences of our Autism Team offers a well-rounded support network for providing Autism support services.
Sarah Prince– Educational Consultant, Autism Evaluator