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5527 Educational Program Evaluation for Parents: What Should I Look for?

Friday, July 8, 2011: 1:15 PM-2:30 PM
Sun D (Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center)
It is often difficult for parents to evaluate the educational program that their child is receiving. This presentation will highlight the different areas that must be considered in determining whether their child's program is effectively meeting their child's needs. Parents will be given the opportunity to match their child's learning needs and style with a variety of classroom characteristics and intervention strategies. Parents are expected to be partners in their children's educational programming as required in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act.  Unfortunately, the educational needs of children on the autism spectrum are often complex and varied, and school districts are variable in the way they deliver services to this population of students.  That makes it difficult to provide quick and easy suggestions to parents for how to evaluate an educational program for their specific child.  Parents must be able to understand their child's strengths and weaknesses, present level of performance across a variety of skill domains, and learning style in order to evaluate the programs and services provided to their child. Elements of the classroom must also be evaluated to determine whether they are designed to facilitate their children's academic, social, and communicative functioning. 

This presentation will examine each of the elements that contribute to the learning environment and program for children on the autism spectrum.  Elements to be considered include the physical structure of the classroom and other learning environments, the teacher and staff qualifications and experience, the curricula being used, accommodations and modifications needed in order for a child to access the curriculum, the teaching strategies used to build skills, the behavioral strategies implemented to decrease behavior problems, and the language and communication supports used. 

Checklists that are useful for parents of elements that should be considered when evaluating a program for a child with ASD will be presented.  Case studies of individual students will be completed to show how this process works.

Learning Objectives:

  • Parents will have a list of areas to evaluate in their children's educational program
  • Parents will match their children's learning characteristics to educational environments
  • Parents will articulate the match between their children's learning style and teaching strategies

Content Area: Life with Autism


Susan Kabot, Ed.D., CCC-SLP
Executive Director, Autism Institute
Mailman Segal Center of Nova Southeastern University

Susan received her Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University. She is a Florida licensed speech-language pathologist and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is the mother of a son, Michael, with ASD.

Christine Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Reeve Autism Consulting

Christine received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and holds Board Certification as a Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D). She is in a private practice, providing consultation to school districts around the country.