Autism Resource Team
What is autism?
Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before the age three, that adversely affects educational performance. Autism is generally evident before the age of 3. However, a diagnosis may or may not be made before age 3.
Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child’s education performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has a serious emotional disturbance.
An Iowa educational diagnosis of autism is based upon the preponderance of evidence across six areas. Students with autism may exhibit varying degrees of atypical behavior that significantly interferes with the learning process in the following areas:
- Social participation
- Repertoire of activities, interests and imaginative development
- Developmental rate and sequences
- Sensory processing
The State of Iowa encourages each Area Education Agency to have an Autism Resource Team. The Prairie Lakes AEA Autism Resource Team is made up of two representatives from each zone and one administrative liaison. Leadership for the team is provided by two of the team members who serve as co-leaders.
Autism Resource Team Members
The purpose of the Prairie Lakes AEA Autism Resource Team (ART) is to provide expertise in the area of autism to fulfill the agency's mission of ensuring success for ALL learners through collaborative partnerships.
- Provides in-services to the AEA and LEA staff regarding autism spectrum disorders.
- Assists the local teams with assessment. The local AEA team completes the actual assessment.
- Assists the local teams with consultation, programming, and resource materials.
- Provides on-site consultative services upon request.
- Attends Autism Resource Team meetings.
- Develops skills and knowledge in autism by attending regional and national workshops and conferences.
- Stays current with research-based methodology, programming, resources, and interventions.