Missouri Advocates For Families Affected by Autism

We are a citizens action group advocating and lobbying for families that have a child with special needs. We believe that EVERY child has a right to a FREE and APPROPRIATE EDUCATION and should NEVER BE LEFT BEHIND.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Missouri Struggles to Integrate Special Education Students | KBIA

Missouri Struggles to Integrate Special Education Students | KBIA

He Was Getting Prepared To Defend His Autistic Son, Until The Man In Front Said This.

He Was Getting Prepared To Defend His Autistic Son, Until The Man In Front Said This.

To my utter shame, I found myself losing my temper at my own son. I was embarrassed, and angry, and frustrated, and felt cheated by God for not being able to enjoy a normal vacation with our family because of this damn affliction of my son. And then I realized I was close to losing it too.

I started to wonder what life would be like without having to deal with this cross.

And just as the reactions by the other passengers was becoming most intense, a man seated just in front of me turned around to face me.

I braced myself for his onslaught of advice on how to raise a well-behaved child.

Then he said calmly, "Is he alright?"

I said, "He's autistic."

Then the man said, "It's alright." And he smiled.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Healthcare Transition Study

Hello families,
We want to thank your family for being a valuable part of autism research studies in the past.  As such, we wanted to let you know of another study that may be of interest to you.

We will be hosting a Healthcare Transition Study on Saturday January 31st in Liberty MO.  Here are the details:
·         Families of youth ages 16-25 with an autism spectrum diagnosis
·         One parent or Caregiver will meet in a small focus group to share thoughts as to what families need to prepare for health related independence-
·         Your child will participate in an individual interview to share thoughts of their goals and what they feel is needed to achieve them
·         Caregiver may participate even if youth is unable- and vice-versa
·         One visit only- caregiver focus group lasts about 2 hours,  youth interview 45 minutes to 1 hour.
·         Caregivers receive $20 cash for participating, and Youth would also receive $20 cash for participating

The when and where:
Saturday January 31st
Autism Works, 915 East County Road H, Liberty Mo
You may choose from 2 different sessions:             10:00am-noon, or 1:00pm-3pm

Space is limited – so please let me know right away if you would be interested in assisting with this important study!
Have a wonderful and blessed holiday.

Jill Akers, LPN
Recruitment Coordinator
Research Core
Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders
University of Missouri
205 Portland Street, Columbia, MO  65211

Phone: 573-884-6092 | thompsoncenter.missouri.edu

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Inclusive Education for Autism Varies by State - West Palm Beach Autism & Education | Examiner.com

Inclusive Education for Autism Varies by State - West Palm Beach Autism & Education | Examiner.com

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) (P.L. 108-446) (http://idea.ed.gov/) guarantees a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) for every student with a disability. The LRE provision mandates that “to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.” In general, inclusion (or inclusive education) with typical peers is often considered to be the best placement option for students with disabilities.
Child characteristics such as IQ and severity of autism symptoms are thought to determine educational placement. However, where a child lives may significantly impact whether they are placed in an inclusive or segregated classroom, a new national analysis suggests. The study published online in the journal Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilitiesexamined external factors, including state of residence and state funding formulas, to determine their potential influence on placement outcomes. The findings revealed that considerable variations exist among states in placing students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in inclusive, mainstreaming, self-contained, and separate schools. Specifically, states vary substantially in the percentage of students with ASD educated in each setting, with some states trending consistently toward less restrictive settings (Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). Other states, however, are consistently representative of more restrictive settings (Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.). Furthermore, states in the Eastern United States tend to have more restrictive placement rates than states in the Western United States. State special education funding was found to have a minimal impact on placement outcomes.
These findings suggest that factors that are external to child characteristics (IQ, severity of ASD symptoms) influence educational placement decisions for students with ASD. Overall, it is unlikely that child characteristics alone determine placement outcomes. The author states that it is arguably safest to assume that the first placement for a student with ASD would be an inclusive setting. Analysis of the public data presented in this study suggests that many states are still falling short of including students with ASD in general education settings for significant portions of the day. This indicates the critical importance of shifting the argument from should we include students with ASD in general education to understanding how to include students with ASD meaningfully and successfully in inclusive settings. It is critical to identify how those practices that benefit students with ASD, including structure (visual supports, communication supports, and social supports), positive behavior supports, and systematic instruction, can be implemented meaningfully and seamlessly in general education settings. Lastly, those who place students with ASD in educational settings should determine the unique needs of the individual, and match those needs to specific supports and services that will be provided in general education settings.
Jennifer A. Kurth, Educational Placement of Students With Autism: The Impact of State of Residence, Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, first published on September 3, 2014 doi:10.1177/1088357614547891.
Lee A. Wilkinson, PhD, CCBT, NCSP is author of the award-winning book, A Best Practice Guide to Assessment and Intervention for Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Schools, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. He is also editor of a text in the APA School Psychology Book Series, Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children and Adolescents: Evidence-Based Assessment and Intervention in Schools and author of the soon to be released book, Overcoming Anxiety and Depression on the Autism Spectrum: A Self-Help Guide Using CBT.
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