DVD, tips, information forms and other resources addressing autism spectrum disorders

The working relationship between school staff and parents of children with autism spectrum disorders is critical to the children’s success in school and can be a source of tremendous stress at the beginning of the school year when parents are not familiar with the school staff.

Cathy Pratt

Cathy Pratt

Cathy Pratt, director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University, provided numerous tips earlier this summer geared toward helping children with autism begin their school year well and also for helping teachers and school staff understand the children’s needs.

Her tips included a form that parents can fill out detailing specific information about learning styles, communication systems, medical issues, behavior supports and other topics. Pratt encourages parents to share the information with relevant staff including cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, the school secretary, the school nurse, and administrators.

This week I learned of another useful resource for school staff and anyone who cares for or knows someone with autism spectrum disorders —  this includes caregivers, first responders and medical providers.  The HANDS in Autism Interdisciplinary Training and Resource Center is distributing a DVD titled “What Is Autism?”

The free 23-minute video features several individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, portraying their stories and successes due in large part to the perseverance, planning and support of their families and caregivers.

HANDS logoTo receive a free copy, email hands@iupui.edu or visit the Hands in Autism website for a request form. Additional online and printed resources, including a back-to-school guide that includes a social narrative, also are available on the website.

Hands in Autism is located at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and the Indiana University School of Medicine on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

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