Autism Home > Help for Autism Spectrum Disorder Children
Help for autism spectrum disorder children is available. The key to getting help for autism spectrum disorder children often involves learning about special programs such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federally mandated program that assures a free and appropriate public education for children with diagnosed learning deficits.
Help for Autism Spectrum Disorder Children: An OverviewWhen your child has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, you may feel inadequate to help him or her develop to the fullest extent possible. As you begin to look at treatment options and at the types of aid available for a child with a disability, you will find out that there is help for you. It is going to be difficult to learn and remember everything you need to know about the resources that will be most helpful. Write down everything. If you keep a notebook, you will have a foolproof method of recalling information. Keep a record of the doctors' reports and the evaluation your child has been given so that his or her eligibility for special programs will be documented. Learn everything you can about special programs for your child; the more you know, the more effectively you can advocate.
Special Programs Providing Help for Autism Spectrum Disorder Children
For every child eligible for special programs, each state guarantees special education and related services. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federally mandated program that assures a free and appropriate public education for children with diagnosed learning deficits. Usually children are placed in public schools and the school district pays for all necessary services. These will include, as needed, services provided by a:
- Occupational therapist
- Speech therapist
- School psychologist
- Social worker
- School nurse
By law, the public schools must prepare and carry out a set of instruction goals, or specific skills, for every child in a special education program. The list of skills is known as the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP is an agreement between the school and the family on the child's goals. When your child's IEP is developed, you will be asked to attend the meeting. There will be several people at this meeting, including:
- A special education teacher
- A representative of the public schools who is knowledgeable about the program
- Other individuals invited by the school or by you (you may want to bring a relative, a child care provider, or a supportive close friend who knows your child well).
Parents play an important part in creating the program, as they know their child and his or her needs best. Once your child's IEP is developed, a meeting is scheduled once a year to review your child's progress and to make any alterations to reflect his or her changing needs.
If your child is under 3 years of age and has special needs, he or she should be eligible for an early intervention program; this program is available in every state. Each state decides which agency will be the lead agency in the early intervention program. The early intervention services are provided by workers qualified to care for toddlers with disabilities and are usually in the child's home or a place familiar to the child. The services provided are written into an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) that is reviewed at least once every 6 months. The plan will describe services that will be provided to the child, but will also describe services for parents to help them in daily activities with their child and for siblings to help them adjust to having a brother or sister with ASD.