Autism Team of Allen County ESC

Our Mission Statement                              
The mission of our team is to seek out and analyze the needs related to autism spectrum disorder in schools, families, community agencies and organizations throughout Allen County.  Furthermore, it is our intent and passion to use research based knowledge to plan and coordinate solutions for improvement.  Our team creates goals, strategically plans action steps and implements and reflects on growth made.  We are available for collaboration, consultation and support. Please contact us!

Our Autism Team:
Kim Nellis, Special Education Supervisor, Supervisor of Great Day Academy Autism Unit, Team Facilitator
kim.nellis@allencountyesc.org

Amy Recker, Preschool/Related Services Supervisor, Team Coordinator
amy.recker@allencountyesc.org

Karissa Hoersten, Autism Intervention Specialist at Great Day Academy
karissa.hoersten@allencountyesc.org

Holly Phillips, School Psychologist
holly.phillips@allencountyesc.org                                 

Carla Frey, Speech Therapist
carla.frey@allencountyesc.org

Gina
Uhl, Occupational Therapist
gina.uhl@allencountyesc.org                                                         

Rachel Graham, Preschool Assessor
rachel.graham@allencountyesc.org                                               

Our Supports We Can Provide                                                            
*   Provide links to resources to assist with specific child needs.                     
*  
Observations and consultation by team members.
*  
Help design structured environments to support positive  behavior for children w/ASD.
*  
Develop sensory programming catered to specific needs of child.
*   Develop behavior modification program to assist with difficult behaviors.
*   Assist with developing strategies and programming to improve communication skills.
*   Provide interventions and resources to enhance student social skills.
*   Assist with visual strategies such as classroom/name schedules, task schedules, first/then
    schedules, social stories, etc.
*   Assist as the child transitions from preschool to kindergarten and throughout his/her school-
    age years.

Our Work
Approximately 2 years ago, our Autism Team of Allen County ESC was developed in conjunction and coordination with the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI), the State Support Team Region 6 (SST6) and the Autism Society of Ohio.  We attended various trainings and embarked on a journey to seek out needs related to autism spectrum disorder and to plan and coordinate solutions for improvement.  Our team meets throughout the school year to determine districtwide needs, create goals, strategically plan action steps and implement and reflect on growth.  Thus far, we have accomplished many goals.  Two survey was completed by Allen County Educational Service Center and staff throughout the 8 districts our center serves in Allen County (Allen East, Bath, Bluffton, Delphos, Elida, Perry, Shawnee and Spencerville).  We have provided professional development and resources to target needs.  Outreach to local districts landed a new home for Great Day Academy autism classrooms.  Thanks to Bath local schools, our students can enjoy interactions with typically developing students.  Most recently, we developed an Autism Identification Assessment Team comprised of staff with expertise in various disciplines.  The team attended a five day training presented by Ruth Aspy, PhD, sponsored by OCALI.  The goal of the team is to have students identified with Autism early and provide them with assistance and programming immediately to assist with overall growth and development.  Finally, we created web page as a means to make connections with educators, families and community members throughout Allen County and surrounding areas.  Feel free to spread the word about our team and share our information with others.

Our Autism Identification Assessment Team
According to the recent study completed by United States Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), autism has increased 30% from 1 in 88 children to 1 in 68 children.  Children are still being diagnosed too late.  The earlier the child can be identified, the better the chances of overcoming the difficulties that come along with this disorder.  Our team has been trained to identify students with Autism Spectrum Disorder through a thorough research based process.  Please contact our team or your district representative if you have concerns and suspect autism.

Links:
National Autism Association:  http://nationalautismassociation.org/?gclid=CKaO-eu_vr4CFaY-Mgod32EAPA
Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI):  http://www.ocali.org/

The Autism Society of Ohio:  http://www.autismohio.org/
West
Central Ohio Autism Community:  http://www.wcoautism.org/

State
Support Team Region 6:  http://www.sst6.org/

Ohio
Department of Education:  http://education.ohio.gov/

Bittersweet
at Betty’s Farm, Lima:  http://www.bittersweetfarms.org/services/locations/lima/