Center for Autism is a regional public separate school facility for students with Autism. Referrals to the program come only from our member public school divisions of Gloucester County, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg-James City County, and York County.
To be considered for placement in the program, students must be identified for educational purposes as being eligible for Special Education services for students with Autism and be referred by one of the member school divisions through the IEP process.
Center for Autism is a more restrictive educational environment than a special education classroom in the home school division. The IEP team must consider and document in the IEP that the team reviewed a continuum of alternative placements, including instruction in regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions.
The IEP team reviews services, placements, interventions, and strategies which were attempted to maintain the student in the least restrictive environment.
Referrals to Center for Autism are made if the IEP team determines that the nature or severity of student’s disability requires more intensive educational services than can currently be provided within their school division.
Possible Indicators for Referral
Severe negative behavior that is a danger to self or others (aggression, self-injury) directed at self, peers, or staff.
High frequency of non-compliant behavior which is severe and can be dangerous.
Unable to make wants/needs known, Ineffective communication associated with severe negative behaviors.
Frequently reacts to sensory stimuli with escape or unsafe behavior.
Impulsive behavior with limited self-control, and a high level of activity that prevents learning and poses safety concerns.
Inappropriate response to redirection in academic and social situations leading to non-compliant and unsafe behavior.
Least Restrictive Environment
After it is determined that the student is eligible for special education services under IDEA, a multidisciplinary team of specialists and the parents review the child’s levels of functioning and develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) specifically designed to meet the child’s educational needs in the least restrictive environment. The IEP team determines the appropriate placement, develops the education goals for the student, and discusses the student’s progress.