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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I THINK MY SON/DAUGHTER IS AUTISTIC, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If your child is between the ages of 3-21, you can contact your local school district and pursue a full case study evaluation. Be sure to ask for Autism rating scales to be done. A few of the most common rating scales completed for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome include the GARS (Gilliam Autism Rating Scale); GADS (Gilliam Asperger’s Disorders Scale); and the ASDS (Asperger’s Syndrome Diagnostic Scale). When an evaluation is be considered, another great diagnostic tool is the A-DOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale). This is a great one to have completed if you think your child is in the autism spectrum disorders. It helps identify the degree of Autism, Asperger’s, and other autism spectrum disorders. If your child is under 3 years old, talk to your pediatrician. They should have an autism screening they can do. If not, ask your doctor for a referral to have evaluations completed. The three areas usually tested are speech/language development, motor skills (fine motor and sensory), and social skills. Some agency has special programs and services they provide for children with autism.

MY SCHOOL SAYS THAT THEY DO NOT PROVIDE ESY (EXTENDED SCHOOL YEAR) SERVICES. I THINK MY CHILD NEEDS THE CONSISTENCY OF SCHOOL ALL YEAR ROUND. HOW DO I GET HIM INTO A PROGRAM?

There are guidelines for ESY. If the IEP team feels the child needs ESY, then a program should be made available for the student. If the district does not provide one, then the district can contact other districts to see if there are openings in their program for an “out of district” student. Also, there are some programs offered by the park district for special needs students that may be beneficial. Parents should contact the programs for more information. School districts can pay for park district programs if the IEP team feels they are appropriate.

ARE THERE ANY SOCIAL SKILLS GROUPS MY CHILD COULD GO TO?

There are a few agencies in the tri-county area that offer social skills groups. Easter Seals in Peoria (1-309-686-1177) follows a curriculum that The Autism Program uses. The Antioch Group also offers a social skills group (1-309-692-6622). The Washington Park District has offered programs as well.

IS THERE A LOCAL SUPPORT GROUP?

Yes, the Peoria Regional Chapter of the Autism Society of America currently meets on the 4th Thursday of the month at Easter Seals in Peoria. Childcare is available. The group meets from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. We meet to support one another and share information. Speakers are schedule a few times a year. The group consists of parents, grandparents, teachers, and sometimes adults with Asperger’s Syndrome.

ARE THERE ANY SUPPORT GROUPS FOR ADULTS WITH ASPERGER’S SYNDROME?

Currently, there are no programs known, however, interest is growing in our area for a group. Contact this local chapter to express interest so one might be considered.

WHAT IS AVAILABLE FOR MY TEENAGER WITH ASPERGER’S?

There currently is a “Teen Talk” group being targeted to begin in May/June of 2009. This group will bring teens together to discuss social skills/issues. Please watch our website for more information.