A 21st-century approach to teaching autistic students

In the United States, a child is diagnosed with autism every 21 minutes–a rate that is growing faster than that of any other developmental disorder, according to Virtual Expert Clinics Inc. In response to this trend, Virtual Expert Clinics has developed a 21st-century response to educating students with autism, called AutismPro.

A customizable package of tools, content, and programming, AutismPro is designed to help educators and administrators improve the learning experiences for students with autism through the effective use of technology. It was developed and reviewed with the help of a professional advisory board that included Dr. Kathleen Quill of the Autism Institute, Dr. Cathy Pratt of the Autism Society of America, and Dr. Brenda Smith Myles.

There are two products in the AutismPro line: AutismPro Workshops and AutismPro Resources.

AutismPro Workshops is a flexible, web-based professional development program that allows educators to apply a range of evidence-based strategies to typical school situations. Designed for general education teachers, AutismPro Workshops provides videos and illustrated examples of instructional techniques that can be applied across the spectrum of autism and autism-related disabilities. AutismPro Workshops features up to 45 hours of online content, including the most commonly used concepts and strategies in the field of autism intervention.

Designed to complement an existing special-education program and IEP framework, AutismPro Resources is a comprehensive set of online classroom tools. It allows special-education teachers, support staff, and administrators to search a database of more than 5,000 lesson plans, teaching strategies, and behavioral supports. Users can download and print what each student’s support team needs to apply techniques and target learning objectives on a daily basis.

“During the last 10 years, many evidence-based strategies have surfaced to assist educators in teaching students with autism. What is important to remember is that no one teaching method works for all children, and methods described by researchers can be hard to translate to the classroom,” said Kevin Custer, CEO of Virtual Expert Clinics. “AutismPro delivers the tools educators need to develop and follow an intervention plan that is both consistent and individualized for each student with autism.”

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