July 9, 2003
New resource for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Education Minister Gerry Reid today announced the launch of a new resource for teachers and other professionals who work with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The document, entitled Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, is intended to help educators plan and implement effective education programs.
"We are very pleased to provide this valuable resource to teachers and partner agencies," said Minister Reid. "We have brought together in one document, the best information on teaching alternatives, assessment and evaluation, and transition planning for all professionals who work with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder."
This guide is the most recent addition to one of the best resourced systems for students with special needs in the country. Equivalent levels of service for students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders are not available elsewhere in the country. "We have departmental consultants who provide professional development and individual consultative services to teachers and other professionals who work with these students. They also provide child specific training for members of the student�s Individual Support Services Plan (ISSP) team," said the minister.
In addition to the educational support provided by the consultants, students with Autism Spectrum Disorders can avail of speech language pathologists or educational psychologists. The department has also sponsored summer institutes for each of the past three years, which highlight effective techniques and strategies for working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Stakeholders attending this year�s summer institutes in St. John�s and Grand Falls-Windsor will be given advanced copies of the new teaching resource.
"We have 250 students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Newfoundland and Labrador and over 30 new cases are diagnosed each year," said the minister. "This document is our latest initiative to ensure these students have every opportunity to succeed. Indeed, we are leading the country in the provision of services to students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and have already been contacted by the departments of education in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which have requested permission to adapt our resources for their own students."
Media contact: Elizabeth Matthews, Communications (709) 729-0048, or (709) 727-3438.
2003 07 09 3:30 p.m.