Education officials say a federal grant will help Vermont schools better serve the rapidly growing number of students with autism.A description from the center's website:
Officials learned Wednesday that Vermont is one of three states selected to take part in a professional-development project headed by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Though the grant offers no financial resources, it will bring federally funded experts into Vermont schools to train educators.
“Individuals with autism may need specific types of interventions. And if educators don’t have the type of training needed in order to provide those type of services, then kids are not getting what they need,” says Claire Bruno, autism consultant at the Vermont Department of Education. “I look at Vermont receiving this grant as a terrific opportunity to really increase our capacity here to provide these youngsters the assistance they need.”
The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders is a multi-university center to promote the use of evidence-based practice for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. The Center operates through three sites that include the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the M.I.N.D. Institute at University of California at Davis Medical School, and the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Each year, three states are selected through a competitive application process for a two-year partnership with the Professional Development Center. The Center works in coordination with each state’s Department of Education, Part C agency, and University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities to provide professional development to teachers and practitioners who serve individuals from birth through twenty-two years with autism spectrum disorders.