MDUSD is considering a new model to deliver services to ASD students. This Magnet Program is modeled after the Social Skills Program piloted during the 2008 Extended School Year Program.
The Magnet Program will maximise collaboration among professionals at specific school sites to emphasise support for social and pragmatic language development and reading comprehension. The pilot program will target ASD 1st and 2nd grade students, as well as middle schoolers from full inclusion or mild/moderate SDC settings. The intention is to expand the program for all students with social skills and executive functioning deficits.
Behaviorist Program Manager, Kara Oettinger says: "The Autism Task Force and I have been investigating more comprehensive ways to serve students with Asperger's Syndrome or high functioning autism. Research shows that to successfully teach social skills, it needs to be done in the context of the student's life. As Behaviorist Program Manager, I have observed how students easily become isolated and victims of bullying. By restructuring our programs, we can better serve our students, provide consistent, school-wide support and closely monitor progress in the area of social skills development and executive functioning and prepare students for life and work after graduation."
This new program is to be presented to the BOE tonight.