Sending Your Child with ASD to School

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Where did summer go? In what seems like the blink of an eye, it’s already time to start planning for the return of the school year this fall. Parents of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will have a lot to think about as it pertains to sending your child to school. Since autism is on a spectrum there are varying levels and degrees of this condition, and depending on your child’s unique needs, the decision you choose for your child isn’t always going to be the best decision for every child with ASD. To help with this decision making process, we’ve laid out some of the options you have when it comes to sending your child to school, as well as some of the pros and cons.

There are a variety of options available for your child’s education. Those who are the lease severe end of the spectrum may find that public school without any sort of special support is the most ideal solution for their child. This i also referred to as mainstreaming. However, others may decide that this isn’t ideal. If this is the case the options available include:

  • An adaptive public school classroom with 1:1 support

  • Part-time public school classroom paired with part-time special needs classroom settings

  • A general special needs classroom with some mainstreaming

  • A special needs classroom without mainstreaming

  • Charter schools

  • Cyber charter schools

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Pros of sending your child with ASD to a public school

Thanks to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) you have a variety of options when it comes to the public school setting for your child. Your child will receive Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Last Restrictive Environment (LRE) with an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). There will also be additional services available such as speech, occupational and physical therapy, and in some school districts there may be additional services such as ABA therapy.

Cons of sending your child with ASD to a public school

It’s not always an easy transition into public school for children with ASD. In fact, those without ASD oftentimes find the transition into school to be a bit difficult. Children with ASD tend to be more prone to bullying and the sensory challenges involved with attending a public school can become overwhelming. However those who are on the lighter side of the spectrum may find that being in a classroom primarily with special needs children is not a good fit either. This is why it’s important to assess your child’s unique condition and make the decision that is best for your child.

If you’d like to get a start on ABA therapy or any of the other support services available for your child with ASD in the Great Falls, Montana area, we would love to see you and your child and help set you up with the support and advice that is best for you and your family. Feel free to reach out to us to get started as soon as possible. you don’t have to wait for the school year to start to get the right support and care for your child.

Jayna Nickert