Autism Awareness

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What is Autism?

Autism is a general term used to describe a complex group of neuro-developmental disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). Many parents and professionals refer to this group as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Learners with autism may have some additional challenges in the school environment, but with the support of the teachers, support staff, and school community, students with autism make great strides and are valued members of the Mabel Padgett student body. Just as students can learn from each member of the school community, the school staff and peers can learn that students with autism have a lot to offer in return.



Cross Categorical Special Education Classrooms at Mabel Padgett

At Mabel we have a cross categorical continuum of programs that focuses on the needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a structured teaching environment. We have 2 classrooms for students in grades K-5.  This allows children, who need this level of service, to attend Mabel Padgett for all of their elementary years, foster relationships and truly become a part of the school community. In conjunction with the Special Education Department we provide focused professional development with the Mabel staff to ensure they have the tools to support the needs of the children in those programs. As appropriate, students interact with their general education peers through academic, non-academic and extracurricular activities.

For more information on Autism Spectrum Disorders please click on the following links:   

Mabel Padgett and the Arizona Department of Education Autism Spectrum Disorders Grant
We were lucky to be chosen to participate in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) grant from ADE which will provide professional development for our team: Mrs. DeCoste, Miss Pidcock, Mrs. Calderon, Mrs. Cusumano and Mrs. Trammel. We are committed to 3 Friday-Saturday trainings this year provided by ADE and a multitude of implementation activities. The goal of the grant is to improve inclusive education settings for students on the Autism Spectrum who have IEP’s, and make sure they are being educated in their least restrictive environment. We will bring the methods we learn back to Mabel and provide professional development training for the entire staff on what we learn from these ADE trainings. Between the 2 self-contained programs and students that are fully included in general education we have 29 students with Autism Spectrum Disorders at Mabel. It’s our goal to provide the best possible environment for all of our students. We are off to a great start this year and have some amazingly talented and supportive teachers.
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