BLaST IU 17 operates autistic support programs in six different school districts in Bradford, Tioga, Sullivan and Lycoming counties. There are 6 elementary school programs and 3 high school programs. Districts which currently house these programs include Wellsboro, Towanda, Loyalsock, Montoursville, and South Williamsport. The IU also operates Autistic Support programs at the Early Intervention Level.
Students attending these programs may be from a host district or may be transported to the district by their home district. Students attend school according to the school day and the school calendar of the host district. The sending district must also provide enrollment information such as immunizations to have on file in the host school district.
Though students may be attending a program in a host district rather than their home district, the goal of the Autistic Support program is to help the student learn the skills and strategies for them to be successful in their home district with their same age peers.
In these programs, staff receive various training through the IU or outside agencies to help them improve their skills in teaching students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some of these include:
- DSRP Training
- CPR and First Aid
- QBS Training
- Competent Learner Model Training (not in all programs)
- Applied Behavior Analysis strategies
- Behavior Intervention Strategies
- Academic curricula materials include SRA Language for Learners, SRA Reading Mastery, Touch Math, Saxon Math, various sight word curricula, Reading A-Z, and other materials the use of which is based on individual need.
Competent Learner Model – Autism Programming for Home and School
Autism is a disorder which affects individuals on a spectrum. Each student has individual strengths and needs. As a result, programming must be very individualized. As a result, behavior strategies instruction for the staff is also a key component of our programs. This includes ways to effectively use positive reinforcement to shape academic behavior, communication, or disruptive behavior.
Parents are a vital participant in the program. Again, though their child may be attending a program in a host district rather than their home district, another goal of the Autistic Support program is to assist the parent learn the skills and strategies for them to be successful in their home and community. Parent training provided through the IU includes QBS and Competent Learner Model Curriculum.
For more information contact our Autistic Support Supervisor: Trisha Patterson