Children with Autism and Related Exceptionalities (CARE)

  • The program for Children with Autism and Related Exceptionalities (CARE) serves students with communication, sensory, and social differences that significantly impact their educational progression. The focus of the program is on customizing individual academic and behavioral interventions to bridge the gap between a student’s deficits and strengths by emphasizing a home-school collaborative approach. It is through this collaborative effort that students with communication, sensory, and social differences can learn the skills necessary to become productive citizens and independent in the areas of communication, social skills, leisure skills, self-help, and vocational skills.

    Program components include highly structured, individualized programming, intensive communication and language training, social skills training, utilization of natural/inclusive environments for instruction, positive behavioral programming, and educationally-based sensory activities (as appropriate, determined by ARD committee). Additional services including speech/language therapy, music therapy, occupational therapy, in home training, parent training, and adaptive physical education may also be provided based on individual need and evaluation data.

    Levels of Support and Service Delivery
    Within the CARE program, a continuum of services is offered relative to the level of support the student needs to be successful in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The level of support necessary is based on individual student needs, considering evaluation data, present levels of academic and functional performance information, response to intervention data, classroom performance information, and the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team discussion. To address the diverse needs of the autism spectrum and maximize resources, various levels of support are offered.

    CARE: Daily Skills (DS)
    CARE DS is designed for students who are enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The focus of this level is to provide intensive, individualized support in the least restrictive environment (LRE) with an emphasis on functional communication and addressing significant social, behavioral, emotional, and sensory differences. More specifically, students who demonstrate a need for CARE DS may have moderate to severe cognitive/adaptive impairments and/or significant developmental delays, warranting a need a highly structured instructional program focused on functional communication, self-care, pre-academic, and prevocational skills to promote independence with daily living skills. These students primarily receive instruction based upon prerequisite skills of grade level content and IEP goals and objectives. In general, these students are included in the general education setting to address and generalize targeted social, functional, vocational, and adaptive skills to the maximum extent appropriate (as determined by the ARD committee). If warranted, it is possible that some of these students will have a current Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA) and a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) that is developed, implemented, and monitored through data collection.

    CARE: Life Skills (LS)
    CARE LS is designed for students who are enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The focus of this level is to provide intensive, individualized support in the least restrictive environment (LRE) with an emphasis on functional academics and addressing significant social, behavioral, emotional, and sensory differences. More specifically, students who demonstrate a need for CARE LS may have mild to moderate cognitive/adaptive impairments and/or moderate developmental delays, warranting a highly structured instructional program focused on functional academics and vocational skills to promote independence. These students primarily receive instruction based on modified grade level curriculum and IEP goals and objectives in a small group setting. In general, these students are included in the general education setting to address and generalize targeted academic and/or social skills to the maximum extent appropriate (as determined by the ARD committee). If warranted, it is possible that some of these students will have a current Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA) and a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) that is developed, implemented, and monitored through data collection.

    CARE: Specialized Support (SS)
    CARE SS is designed for students enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The focus of this level is to provide more intensive social and behavioral support while in the student’s least restrictive environment (LRE). Students who demonstrate a need for CARE SS may have cognitive/adaptive abilities that range from below average to above average and function at or slightly below (two grade level deviation) grade level. These students primarily receive instruction on grade level content in the general education setting, but often demonstrate a need for a highly structured instructional program focused on small group instruction to acquire, practice, or generalize social/behavioral skills and to reinforce/re-teach academic skills to promote independence.

    Children with Autism and Related Exceptionalities Brochure - English (PDF)
    Children with Autism and Related Exceptionalities Brochure - Spanish (PDF)

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