Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how an individual processes information and interprets the world. Core features of autism are persistent deficits in social interaction and communication and restricted, repetitive or stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests or activities. Each individual with ASD displays a unique combination of characteristics, ranging from mild to severe, requiring individually determined educational and treatment programming.
The first signs of autism appear in early childhood and can be detected by an experienced professional as early as 18 to 24 months of age. Early and accurate identification and intervention can change the trajectory for many children on the autism spectrum.
Mid-State Education District provides consultation with education staff who are providing direct educational services to students (birth to 21) who meet the educational criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders. The following school districts have access to this consultation service: Onamia, Pierz, Royalton, Swanville, and Upsala.
The indirect services include identification and assessment of children who are suspected of meeting the educational criteria for ASD or who are enrolled in the school district and have an IEP under ASD. A medical diagnosis is not required for a student to qualify for services but information received from a medical diagnosis would be taken into consideration during the assessment for educational placement. The autism consultant participates on the team planning educational services and provides resources for the educational staff in implementing these services.
Visit the MN Dept. of Education ASD information page Here for more information and resources.