Tag Archives: Special Education

Question?: Autism Signs In Infants

Michael asks…

What to expect at speech pathologist evaluation with 9-month-old?

My son is 9-month-old and he is not babbling (at all). We’ve been signing with him and he’s never signed back, either. He also has problems swallowing thin liquids, but he can drink his bottle because we thicken it with rice cereal. The pediatrician wants us to get an evaluation with a speech pathologist to check language and swallowing. What can we expect? What kinds of tests will she perform? What sort of therapy is possible for this age? Besides reading, signing, and talking as much as possible (which we’ve always done), what else can we do to speed language development?

admin answers:

At 9 months most of the evaluations will consist of the therapist looking at the physical structure of his mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, etc, observing him as he plays, and asking you lot of questions.

As he is not babbling at all you may need to take him to an audiologist who works with infants to have a specific type of hearing screening done. It consists of them measuring what sound is reaching your son’s brain. (I am just assuming that you haven’t already had this done.)

If it turns out that your son is deaf or has autism or is just severely delayed, than getting that diagnosis this early is crucial because it will allow for very intensive therapy for him while his brain is still very plastic.

I am not sure what therpy would look like for a 9 month old child but I imagine it will be a more intensive and targeted version of what you are already doing-talking, singing, reading and interacting as much as possible with your child. The therapist will probably spend a lot of time teaching you what to do for your child at home.

I wish you the best of luck with your child. Although I don’t work with infants, I do teahc special education and have 4 years of experiance with preschool children who are delayed. Please dont’ hesitate to e-mail me if you have any more questions.

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Question?: Rett Syndrome In Boys

Betty asks…

Supplemental services for Special education Speech , OT, APE?

After 2 1/2 very unsuccessful years of the local school district instructing my special needs child (Autism) and her failing to meet her educational goals, I have decided to not waste anymore time and Homeschool her myself. The down side is that I am being told that if she does not attend their school I will lose all her support services (speech, OT APE) First question is that legal under FAPE? Second question does anyone know of some good materials that I could use to get her services in the above areas I cannot afford private therapy. Moreover, feel stuck….? She is a bright child but needs to be taught to her needs and her method of learning not theirs….

admin answers:

Hello…I went through a similar situation. My 3 y/o daughter has Rett Syndrome (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and she is considered somewhat vulnerable to illness increasing her seizures so decided to hold off on putting her in school. They had no problem with this and had her services come into the home (continued with infant program) and was just written into her IEP. In you daughter’s case it seems like the school program is just not a good fit for her. Is she in ABA? Her IEP needs to be written in a way that WILL teach according to her needs. Has your daughter been tested for Rett Syndrome? I always ask when I seen a girl labeled as autistic because RS is commonly misdiagnosed as autism or CP and is a girl disorder, while autism is a boy disorder. There are ways of teaching my daughter that are different from autistic kids (she is highly social and very gentle) so maybe your daughter doesn’t fit in with other autistic methods of teaching.

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Question?: What Is Autism In Spanish

Betty asks…

How do you say the following in Spanish please, Thank you so much!?

He needs evaluation for Specially Designed Physical Education. He is currently identified as a child with autism.

To determine whether he needs additional special education for physical education.

Eligibility Report
Motor Skills Testing

admin answers:

Necesita evaluación para Clases de Educación Física Adecuadas a Necesidades Específicas (SDPE), Actualmente se le ha identificado como un niño con autismo.

Para determinar si necesita servicios adicionales de educación especial para la ducación física.

Informe de Idoneidad
Pruebas de Habilidades Motoras

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Question?: Rett Syndrome Research

Linda asks…

rett syndrome?

Hi all>
Im doing some research on the genetic disorder Rett Syndrome (RS) & I am looking for some first hand accounts of the early stages
Ive frequented IRSF & MANY other rett syndrome pages but I am really looking for some information from people who have dealt with it on a hands on basis>
My biggest area of interest/curiosity is about the first “signs”

what were your first clues that something wasnt right
was it drawn out or did it just seem to happen overnight

admin answers:

I have only dealt with a child that was in Stage III. I was a special education worker in a middle school a few years ago. We had one case of Rett in our school. I worked with the child very closely for a year and then was reassigned to other duties. I stilled worked with her, but a much small amount for the other 3 years she was with us. I don’t know how much I can help. However, if you have some specific questions you can contact me and I would try to help.

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Question?: Pdd-nos

Ken asks…

Schools for learning disability for children in Baltimore?

I need the names of a few schools that can assist a child of about 7 years of age who is suffering from PDD-NOS (it’s similar to autism, but isn’t the same) in Baltimore, Maryland.

I don’t prefer a website with a list, as I have been getting them again and again already.

Please help. Contact information about a person who is knowledgeable about all this would be helpful as well.

Thank you.

admin answers:

Call your local public school system. Ask to speak with offices of Special Education. Tell them you are a new parent with a child with a developmental delay.

Can you tell me if your school system has any programs that work with students with PDD-NOS.

Also, would you know of any other private schools in the area for students with disabilities?

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Question?: Treatment For Autism Children

Michael asks…

What careers are out there that work with autistic and down syndrome children?

I am a junior in college and my major is Special Education. I want to teach special education, but I was thinking about continuing my education and getting a masters in Psychology. My dream job would be working with autistic or down syndrome children in the hospital atmosphere. Do you know of any other careers other than Special Education? Thanks =)

admin answers:

Still within special education is “gifted” teacher. In my experience many of the “gifted” children have a form of autism called Asperger Syndrome, which is what makes them “gifted” in certain areas and lacking in others such as socialization and people skills.

Another job series involving many autistic and down syndrome children is neurotherapy. Neurotherapy clinics typically have speech pathologist, physical therapist, and occupational therapists. These are usually clinics where patients come in for treatment sessions of 1 hr increments.

As far as a hospital setting, there are “developmental centers” for those with down syndrome or autism. These are live-in, around the clock care centers for those with severe developmental delays. They usually have doctors, psychiatric nurses, aides with special psychology training, activity coordinators, dietary specialists, food service people, etc. Basically all the same professions as a nursing home. However, there are not as many of these as there used to be. It has been my experience that most families now chose to keep developmenally delayed and handicapped children at home and send them to regular or special schools, as well as seek out patient treatments for them in clinical setting.

There are also many summer camps designed especially for those with down syndrome and autism. It would probably be good for you to apply as a camp counselor and work at one of these for the summer to be sure this is the right path for you. Plus it would give you experience for the resume.

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Question?: Pdd

William asks…

What are the chances of my PDD-NOS preschooler eventually joining the mainstream?

Our daughter, 3.5, has been in therapy for developmental delays since the age of 14 months; we got a diagnosis of PDD-NOS about a year ago. She currently attends a special needs preschool. She is verbal, but her speech is stilted: she cannot have a conversation, and all utterances are either requests or narration. She does not ask any questions yet, and her social skills are extremely delayed, as are her fine motor skills. Gross motor is delayed but not as badly. Focus and attention to task is very hard for her; sensory issues cause her to be in near-constant movement.

In addition to the SN school setting, she receives speech therapy, PT, OT, play therapy, and 10 hours of ABA. We have not tried any biomedical interventions aside from fish oil supplements, as per her developmental pediatrician. We expect her to be in special education for the foreseeable future, but it gnaws at me constantly to think that she may not be able to live independently or someday join the mainstream.

admin answers:

My response to your question is a composite of my own thinking and experience, and research in the field of autism/PDD.

Continuing with effective and intensive intervention programs can make a huge difference in the outcome for your daughter.

The current thinking in the autistic community is that autism is a puzzle to which we do not yet have all the pieces. Our children are also like the pieces of a puzzle which need to be connected together to make a fully integrated, unified child.

YOu are already using ABA to help create structure and meaning and build upon your daughter’s strengths and abilities. The highest levels of success with ABA are achieved when a child receives at least 30 hours a week of one-on-one therapy. ABA- type therapies have been statistically shown to improve the prognosis of virtually all autistic children, so if you can increase ABA I would do it, making sure, of course, that the therapist is a very good one. (I did not really believe in the benefits of ABA until my daughter started working with children and youth with autism.)

Additionally speech therapy is of utmost importance – continue with as much as possible. Prognosis is markedly better for individuals who develop some meaningful verbal language before the age of 5 years.

Keep your daughter as engaged in the outside world and stimulated as much as possible during the day in activities that provide an external structure for building meaning, comprehension and organization. Provide ample opportunities for her to use new behviors she learns in real life situations.

As you know PPD-NOS is a life-long disability. There are no cures, and even those individuals who proclaim themselves “recovered” continue to have difficulties with subtle social processes. The most accurate predictor of outcome is the amount of progress over a period of about 1 year from early diagnosis. However, with advances in education, early intervention, and research, today individuals with Autism/PDD have a greatly expanded range of outcomes as adults. Current trends, based on increased knowledge of how to educate children with Autism and the importance of early education, emphasize building skills and abilities in order to prepare young adults with Autism/PDD to work, to live in the community, and in some cases, to pursue higher education. Outcome appears to depend on both degree of overall impairment and intensity of educational interventions.

Systematic and intensive educational programming can make a huge difference. You will have to specifically teach your daughter many of the things other kids may learn vicariously. But most likely she can learn many of these skills. Unfortunately not enough is known about PDD to accurately predict yet how individual children will progress. As your daughter gets older better prediction will be possible.

Before your child reaches school age search out the best schools to address her needs, as not all schools deal with your daughter’s type of issues well. Try to make sure when she starts school that she is placed in the highest functioning environment possible so that her skills will be enhanced. Continue to focus strongly on the language and social issues.

I am not aware of any findings that suggest biomedical interventions make a difference.

If you are in the US become very familiar with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to be sure you understand your rights and your daughter’s rights.

Your daughter is very fortunate that she has had such early intervention and a wealth of it.

I have included some links which you may already be aware of. I hope these thoughts are of some help to you. YOu sound like you are an excellent advocate for your daughter. That will make an immense difference to her progress and her life.

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Question?: Autism Signs In 15 Month Old

Ruth asks…

Is there an online support for parents of Asperger teens?

I have a 17 year old son who does not want to know anything about Aspergers. The doctors in UK have diagnosed him and he hates me for giving him a label. I would like to chat online with other parents who have the same problems. There is so much I need to ask on how to handle him! I tried some sites in the UK that have chats online – sign up and find I’m the only one in the room.

admin answers:

There are plenty of forums out there. I happen to run one, but will not say which one. The only source I would advise against is Autism Speaks. There has been a lot of cotraversies surrounding them.

Autism Speaks was founded by Bob and Suzanne Wright; Bob is the chairman and CEO of NBC Universal and the chairman and executive officer of General Electric. He and his wife, have had a public falling out with their daughter who is raising their autistic grandson as evidenced by their daughter’s appearance on Oprah in April 2007 regarding this public falling out.

Allison Tepper Singer, Vice President of Communications for Autism Speaks, discussesd how she felt when she took her child to a regular school which was going to accommodate her autistic child in a special education classroom with 5 other children, one teacher and two educational assistants. She said. “[quote] I remember that was a scary moment for me when I realized I had sat in the car for about 15 minutes and actually contemplated putting Jody in the car and driving off the George Washington Bridge. That would be preferable to having to put her in one of these schools [end quote].”

It was only because of her other child, Allison Tepper Singer said, that she didn’t go through with the murder-suicide.

Autism Ontario pulled an Autism Speaks very video from their website months ago after discussions with their board members and members of the autism community precisely for its negativity towards autism and autistics.

I have heard from people “on the inside” that Autism Speaks’ goal is to fund genetic tests for autism to encourage people to abort those who have autistic genes in utero to eliminate autism from the world. Simply having autistic genes does NOT mean a person will present with autism.

It should be noted that the PR firm who designs Autism Speaks’ ad campaigns (BBDO) is the same one that has created the defamatory Ransom notes campaign in New York in which the ads claim that people are “Held Hostage” to Autism and Asperger Syndrome.


The ads make it seem as though ALL autistics and AS people are helpless idiots and that by paying for services, they can be cured.

Autism has been proven to be genetic in origin and cannot be cured.

I run forums for over 700 Aspies, and one forum for parents of autistics. All are firmly agreed that Autism Speaks is a poor entity to be “advocating” for autistics.

My own letters to Autism Speaks were replied to with contempt and derision, so I know that they are open to no other opinions but their own.
1 month ago

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Question?: Pdd-nos

Helen asks…

How do I become an early childhood interventionist or family educator?

I am currently a college student trying to decide what to major in. I would like to work with early intervention programs that work with speech disabilities, autism, ADD, PDD-NOS, etc… I would also be interested in educating parents on the development of children. I was wondering what I should be majoring in for this? Would an Early Childhood Education degree and a minor in Special Education be sufficient or is there something better? Also, should I plan on getting a masters for this type of work? Thanks.

admin answers:

I think you are on the right track. Sounds good to me

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Question?: Autistic Adults

Michael asks…

What qualifications would I need to work with Autistic children as a school teacher?

I currently work as a Support Worker in a care home and support Autistic adults. In the future, I would like to work with Autistic children in the school environment as a teacher. I was wondering what experience I would need and what qualifications I would need in order to achieve this? I already have a degree, but this isn’t relevant to Autism, it is English. I will soon be working towards an NVQ in Health and Social Care. Thanks for your help! 🙂

admin answers:

If you alrady have a Bachelor’s Degree, you would need to go back and take the courses necessary for teacher certification, specifically special education.

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