Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism Training Available for Paraprofessionals
Options available to local school divisions to meet free training requirements for paraprofessionals who work with students with autism include
- Online training from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Autism Center for Excellence (ACE)
- Board approved Training Standards for Paraprofessionals Assigned to Work with a Teacher Who Has Primary Oversight of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Word)
Both the ACE training and the training standards describe a broad set of competencies needed by these paraprofessionals, including those relevant to behavioral management.
A child may be found eligible for special education and related services as a child with autism if there is an adverse effect on the child's educational performance due to documented characteristics of autism and the child has any of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders, also referenced as autism spectrum disorder, such as Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, Rhett's Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified including Atypical Autism. Children with a medical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders must be found eligible for special education and related services under IDEA before an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed. Children who are suspected of having a disability should be referred to their local school division for evaluation and to initiate the process for determining eligibility.
- Autism Spectrum Disorders Resources
- Skill Competencies for Professionals and Paraprofessionals in Virginia Supporting Individuals with Autism Across the Lifespan (PDF) – VDOE recognizes this publication for best practice in supporting individuals with autism. This publication, developed by the Virginia Autism Council, includes a list of competencies for professional and paraprofessional staff in all fields of service delivery that are specific, unique, and/or critical to successfully serving individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. Virginia school divisions offer a full continuum of placements and services to students with an educational identification of autism.
- A Parent's Guide To Special Education (PDF) Also available in Spanish (PDF) – help for parents in understanding their rights and responsibilities, their children’s rights, and the responsibilities of schools. This publication is currently under revision to reflect changes in state regulations.
- Special Education - Information For Parents
School Division Training & Technical Assistance
The Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center of Excellence (VCU ACE) is a new collaborative partnership between VDOE; the VCU School of Education, Department of Special Education and Disability Policy; the VCU School of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; and the VCU Research Rehabilitation and Training Center. VCU ACE is dedicated to improving outcomes for students with autism by providing long-term training and technical assistance options for school divisions across the Commonwealth.
- Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence (VCU ACE)
- VCU ACE Informational Webcast
- VCU ACE Handouts (PDF)
- ACE Technical Assistance Application (PDF)
- Opportunity for Division Training & Technical Assistance in Autism – Superintendent's Memo #019-11, January 21, 2011
Autism Specialists Network (ASN)
VDOE sponsors Fall and Spring meetings of the Autism Specialist Network (ASN) as an opportunity for division specialists/staff to receive information and resources related to serving students identified with autism spectrum disorders.
- Fall 2012 – Webcast PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)
- Spring 2012 – Webcast Video
- Fall 2011 – Webcast Video
- Resources from the current and previous meetings – compiled by the ASN and the regional Communities of Learning in Autism (CoLA).
Technical Assistance Documents
Tools for educators, administrators and parents working to improve services for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) - created in collaboration with staff at the Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence (VCU ACE).
Guidelines for Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (PDF)
Models of Best Practice in the Education of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (PDF)
Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Transition to Adulthood (PDF)