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December 2014 Newsletter

Teaching the Teachers

Kids with autism thrive with the right help

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT: An autistic student and a Quality Services for the Autism Community teaching assistant in Queens celebrate an achievement. Our grant supports in-depth training that teachers don’t receive in a typical master’s program.


“Children with Asperger’s and other milder forms of the disorder can thrive in traditional classrooms, but teachers need to know how to interact with and educate them.” - Lisa A. Veglia, executive director of Quality Services for the Autism Community

As more children are diagnosed with autism— which affects one in 68 kids—more teachers need specialized training. Our $130,000 grant to Quality Services for the Autism Community underwrites workshops for teachers in mainstream schools with high numbers of autistic kids. Instructors train teachers to avoid coercion or force if a child is having trouble paying attention. Using positive reinforcement, they challenge a child to focus in increasing increments of time. For children who can’t speak, teachers create a binder of pictures. If a student is frustrated, he can point to a symbol, and that often avoids tantrums. The training helps teachers manage all students, not just those with autism.

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