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Technical Assistance Program developed to help children with ASD

Families whose children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically have a wide range of reactions--sadness, fear, and, for some, relief at having a name for their child’s challenges. While they all have drastically different experiences, almost all agree on one thing:  There aren’t enough educational professionals trained to help their children. 

To address this shortage, the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute has developed a technical assistance program in collaboration with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

“MSDE is pleased to work with Kennedy Krieger to make a difference in the quality of local services by providing targeted training and expert consultation for staff directly involved in teaching and supporting youth with ASD in both school and community settings,“ said Dr. Carol Ann Heath, assistant state superintendent for the Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

Available to local infant and toddler programs and school systems, CARD provides guidance for educators in developing and delivering the most effective, evidence-based educational programming for their students with ASD. The technical assistance program, which is affiliated with the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, has trained general and special educators, administrators, related service providers, and paraprofessionals in 15 counties around the state since its inception in 2006. 

Provided by CARD staff, these services may include targeted training, consultation, guided practice, and observation for those directly involved in teaching and supporting the developmental and educational needs of children with ASD in early intervention and classroom settings.

“I am grateful to have CARD come into my classroom and to provide insight from an outside source that is both helpful and useful to increase the productivity and quality education for my students,” says Tiffany Narbe, a special educator in Harford County. “The specific and attainable suggestions are helping to create education that is appropriate and beneficial for all students. These suggestions have helped both the staff in my room and myself to focus on special goals and to help both instruction and organization in the classroom.”

To find out more about the program, please contact:
Thomas Stengel or Karla Saval, M.Ed.
Technical Assistance Specialists
Maryland State Department of Education
tstengel2@msde.state.md.us 
ksaval@msde.state.md.us

Elizabeth Stripling, Ed.D.
Assistant Director
Outreach and Training, CARD
stripling@kennedykrieger.org