To improve the educational experiences and outcomes of students on the autism spectrum in Montgomery County, MD.
Our Collaborative Approach
We call ourselves a Partnership because educational success for our extraordinary students is only achievable by “partnering” with many people: families, educators, school administrators, professional service-providers, self-advocates, and students themselves.
Families – We empower parents to be effective advocates, and we foster a community of parents with similar educational concerns.
Educators – We provide MCPS educators with resources and trainings that will help them better support autistic students in their classrooms.
MCPS policy makers – We identify systemic problems faced by autistic students and collaborate with administrators to resolve them.
Professional Service Providers – (e.g., therapists, psychiatrists, educational consultants, etc) We rely on professional experts to help us provide our members with the most reliable, current, evidence-based information concerning services for our students.
Self-Advocates – We rely on autistic adults (“self-advocates”) to provide their unique insights into our children’s experiences, since they are the real experts on autism.
Autistic students – We promote our students’ success by providing opportunities to socialize, to learn self-advocacy and other life skills, and to hear about the experience of older autistic individuals.
To empower parents to be effective educational advocates for their autistic children by:
Informing parents about services, programs, and accommodations available in MCPS
Providing resources and advocacy assistance to help parents successfully navigate the IEP process
Disseminating resources to parents about evidence-based approaches for promoting academic success (e.g. executive function or behavior strategies)
Providing opportunities for families to learn from older “self-advocates” speaking about their experiences on the autism spectrum
Providing opportunities for families to network, exchange ideas, find support, and share their stories
To support educators of autistic students and work with MCPS administrators to improve educational experiences for autistic students by:
Funding special education trainings and purchases of curricular materials that help educators better support the autistic students in their classrooms
Disseminating to educators, through our website, publications, and speakers, best practices and evidence-based education strategies, which address the challenges of autism
Identifying systemic problems faced by autistic students in MCPS
Collaborating with MCPS administrators to find solutions to systemic problems
Advocating for the interests of autistic students when MCPS policy changes are being considered
Promoting acceptance and fostering understanding of autistic students’ strengths and challenges within MCPS
To promote the success of autistic students by:
Providing workshops to teach autistic students how to advocate for themselves
Providing workshops for autistic students to learn specific life skills that they will not learn in school (e.g. safe interactions with police)
Facilitating autistic students’ completion of Student Service Learning requirements
Promoting acceptance and fostering understanding of autistic students’ strengths and challenges among non-autistic students
Providing opportunities for autistic students to meet and socialize with peers and with older autistic individuals