Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lisa Thacker
Program Specialist
(904) 547-7530
[email protected]

 

The program for students identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) provides a continuum of services based on the needs of the individual child. With communication, both social and functional being one of the primary deficits characteristic of this disorder, the program focuses on teaching, practicing and generalizing these skills throughout the school environment. In addition, the program highlights socialization skills as well as increased attention skills, two other common deficits in the area of ASD. The teaching of these skills efficiently and effectively intertwined with the instruction of academic adaptive and physical skills.

The fact remains that each child is individual and therefore the St. Johns County School District sees to it that each environment is set up to meet those individual needs. There are students with ASD who are successfully served at all of our schools. However, students with a higher level of need may be served in a full time VE setting for students with ASD in a cluster site. A continuum of services is provided so that as skills improve, a student may receive full-time services without being self-contained, and then resource services, support-facilitation and finally consultation services. The goal of St. Johns County School District is to prepare students to be in the least restrictive environment with continued success.

Frequently Asked Questions:


Question: My student is in a full-time general education classroom.~ Where do we start the registration process?

Answer: Register at your child’s home-zoned school.~ To find your home-zoned school, enter your address into the attendance zone locator listed here:~ http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/zoning/.


Question: My student is in a part-time general education classroom and a part-time Varying Exceptionalities setting.~ Where do we start the registration process?

Answer: Register at your child’s home-zoned school.~ To find your home-zoned school, enter your address into the attendance zone locator listed here:~ http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/zoning/.~ A meeting will be held to discuss specific placement for your child.


Question: My student is in a full-time VE setting.~ Where do we start the registration process?

Answer: Register at your child’s home-zoned school.~ To find your home-zoned school, enter your address into the attendance zone locator listed here:~ http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/zoning/.~ A meeting will be held to discuss specific placement for your child.


Question: How can I find out which schools are designated as cluster sites?

Answer: Cluster sites can be found on our Autism Spectrum Disorder home page found here http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/ese/autistic.


Question: Which services are offered in your schools?

Answer: All schools have the following services based on student need:~ Exceptional Student Education services for students with mild to moderate disabilities, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Itinerant Teachers for the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing and Vision Impaired, Sign-Language Interpreting, Speech-Language Therapy and services for students identified as Gifted.


Question: Can you tell me about transportation to my child’s school?

Answer: Transportation is provided to your child’s home-zoned school.~ If services cannot be provided at your child’s home-zoned school, transportation will be provided to the cluster site your child is assigned to attend.~ For information on transportation routes, please visit~ http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/transportation/routes.


Question: Do you provide Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy?

Answer: While we do not provide “therapy” in Applied Behavior Analysis, our daily system of support utilizes the principles and evidence-based strategies of Applied Behavior Analysis.~ Our team of district behavior specialists includes those who are certified through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board as Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Board Certified Associate Behavior Analysts and Florida Certified Behavior Analysts.~ They coach teachers in the skill building process via observation, data analysis, functional behavioral assessment, behavior intervention plans, demonstration of ABA techniques and consultation regarding behavior supports within the classroom.~ The goal is for them to duplicate their skills in others so our students experience the best possible education in a nurturing environment.


Question: I want to take a tour of my child’s school.~ How do I set that up?

Answer: Contact the Assistant Principal at your child’s home zoned school.~ For a list of school contact information, please visit http://www.stjohns.k12.fl.us/schools/.


Question: I am moving into St. Johns County and would like someone to review my child’s IEP.~ What do I do?

Answer: Fax or email the IEP to Lisa Thacker, ESE Program Specialist.~ Fax number is 904-547-7544 and email address is [email protected].


Question: I would like to use my McKay Scholarship Public School Choice option.~ What do I do?

Answer: Florida’s School Choice Programs ensure that no child will be left behind by allowing parents to choose the best educational setting—public or private—for their child. The McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program currently provides more than 31,000 Florida students with special needs the opportunity to attend a participating private school. The McKay Scholarships Program also offers parents public school choice. A parent of a special needs student who is dissatisfied with the student’s current school may choose to transfer the student to another public school. Contact the Department of Education, Office of Independent Choice and Parental Choice at (800) 447-1636 or see the Florida Department of Education McKay homepage.

See McKay Letter 2017-2018  for more information.

Transfers under the McKay Scholarship Program Public School Option are approved based on the following criteria:

  • You applied for a McKay Scholarship through the Florida Department of Education and your child was found eligible to receive the scholarship; and
  • Review of your child’s ESE or 504 records indicate that the special education services he/she needs can be provided at the requested school.

The McKay Scholarship allows the student to continue at the approved public school until he or she has successfully completed all grades offered at that school. Transportation is not provided for McKay Scholarship Students.

If you are found eligible for the McKay Scholarship and would like to submit a request for your child to be transferred to another public school, please complete the  McKay Request Form 2017-2018 and return it to Sarah Coffin, ESE Confidential Secretary. Requests can be sent via US Mail, fax to (904) 547-7544 or by sending an email to [email protected].

 

Cluster Sites (for students that require services in a self-contained ESE classroom):

Elementary

Middle (Varying Exceptionalities)

K8

High

Alternative Schools