Local programs provide assistance to children with autism and their parents

Published 7:30 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April marks National Autism Awareness Month throughout the U.S. Autism Awareness Month was started by the Autism Society whose goal is to “promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all” according to their website.

In Decatur County parents of children with autism can find help through the school system and through specialized programs at the Therapy Associates of Georgia.

The Decatur County School Board partners with the Georgia Learning Resource Center to provide instruction and specialized programs for children with autism within the school system.

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“We cater our programs depending on the individual needs of the student,” Exceptional Education Director Catherine Gossett said. “The services we provide are very individually based on the needs.”

Services offered include language therapy, occupation therapy and if necessary physical therapy.

A specialist from GLRC also meets with parents to make recommendations and make sure that the programs being offered meet the needs of the specific child.

Additionally, GLRC trains teachers to better prepare them to instruct children with autism.

Outside of the school system, speech therapists at the Therapy Associates of Georgia work with parents and children to teach techniques and programs that can improve communication.

Therapist can offer services to children after a pediatrician has referred them.

“If there is a problem, parents should go to a pediatrician first and get referred to speech therapy,” Hannah Hand, a pediatric speech therapist, said. “We basically work with their communication.”

For more information on living with autism and the services provided you can visit the Autism Society’s webpage at http://www.autism-society.org/.


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