|For Immediate Release
November 9, 2004
Illinois to pilot parent involvement model
for students with autism
Illinois only state selected
Springfield, Ill. Illinois was the only state
selected for a pilot program for supporting students with
autism. The Autism Training Center in Huntington, West
Virginia, selected Illinois because of its innovative
initiatives, including the Illinois Autism Pervasive Developmental
Disabilities Training and Technical Assistance Project
(IATTP), Wraparound School, community services for students
with emotional disorders, and the State Board of Educations
Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) Network.
The Center invited representatives from the Illinois State
Board of Education, Illinois State University (ISU) Autism
Spectrum Institute, and the IATTP to study and pilot a
support model for students with autism.
The new State Boards work with ISU on this
pilot is a great partnership, says Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Its just the kind of innovation and creative
thinking we need to help schools, students and families
Autism is a developmental disability that typically appears
during the first three years of life. It occurs in approximately
fifteen out of every 10,000 births. The symptoms are caused
by physical disorders of the brain. They include disturbances
in the rate of appearance of physical, social, and language
skills; abnormal responses to sensations; absence or delay
of speech; and language development.
The new support model places a project consultant for
six to nine months with the family and school staff of
a student with autism. The consultant combines on-site
PBIS consultation, functional assessment, behavioral intervention
training, and person-centered planning to develop a long-term
plan for the student. At the end of the six months, the
project consultant transitions out, with one of the team
members taking over as facilitator. Follow-up contacts
with the project consultant are scheduled on an ongoing
basis. This strength of this project is its integration
of the PBIS Network, autism specific technical assistance,
and a strong emphasis on parental participation.
Regional IATTP Coordinators will identify students from
throughout Illinois for participation in the pilot, which
is set to begin in January, 2005. As part of Illinois'
commitment, Illinois State University has agreed to develop
web-based training for paraprofessionals working with
students with autism.