Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders
Beaufort County School District addresses the needs of students identified with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) via different modalities based on the student’s individual needs. These modalities include the BLAST(Behavior, Language, and Sensory/Social Transitions) program, ABA services, and support or consultation in General Education. When additional support is needed, schools may reach out to autism program support staff for additional resources, consultation, training, and/or services. Individualized function based interventions may be developed and implemented effectively using evidence based interventions. Progress monitoring takes precedence to ensure the student is making progress and any additional needs are being addressed.
Students who have an educational diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or demonstrate characteristics consistent with ASD (such as marked social and communication deficits) are eligible to receive Behavior Analytic Services. BCSD is committed to serving students with autism in their least restrictive environment alongside their peers in addition to specific programming for students who meet the criteria for specialized instruction.
BLAST Program (Behavior, Language, and Sensory/Social Transition) - Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the application of behavioral principles to shape behaviors and teach new skills. The antecedents and consequences (events preceding and subsequent to the behavior) are analyzed and manipulated in an effort to shape or change behavior. Skills are broken down into small, discrete steps and taught systematically. ABA is used to modify behaviors, teach new skills, and prepare students to function as independently as possible. Classroom teachers and paras will implement the principles of ABA throughout the school day, allowing for a consistent and highly structured learning environment built on research-based interventions. BLAST program classrooms are divided into 3 types for our learners:
- PALs (Preschool Autism Learning) classes are designed to serve early childhood students (ages 3-5).
- Language Intensive classrooms will serve elementary students who are working to gain the functional, academic, behavioral and communication skills necessary for increased participation in home and school environments.
- Inclusion-Based classes will be geared toward students who are ready to participate in the general education setting either independently or with paraeducator support, but still need an ABA rich environment.