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Preschool Programs for Children with Autism

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Authored by Kristian Keefer in Child Education
Published on 01-06-2009

Being the parent of a child diagnosed with Autism can be overwhelming. Children with autism can have symptoms that are mild, severe or somewhere in the middle. As a parent, you might feel confused and helpless wondering how you can reach your children and provide them with the best opportunities to reach their fullest potential.

Enrolling your children in preschool programs for early intervention of their autism will be helpful. With the realization that working with children identified with special needs from a young age can greatly impact their future, states mandate that school districts offer public preschool programs. Most special needs preschool programs offered by school districts are all inclusive for children with special needs.

Early intervention preschool programs can help autistic children to prepare for school. Deficits can be identified early so that you and your child’s teacher can begin working to help your child reach highest abilities despite autism. Public preschool programs for children with special needs can provide excellent learning and developmental opportunities for your child. Unfortunately, these public preschool programs for students who need early intervention are not always top notch. The intentions of the programs are good, but the staff is not always able to give your child the one -on-one interaction and attention they need. Members of the staff might not be properly trained to work with students who are autistic. Their training might have been generalized to work with all students who have special needs rather than one particular area of need.

If you can afford to send your child to a private preschool for autistic children, this is a better option. The teachers and staff at a private preschool for students with autism will be well educated about working with autistic children. They will know how to identify the areas in your child’s learning and development that need the most attention. Private preschools for autism often are designed to allow staff and teachers to spend one-on-one time with each student so that individualized education can be provided.

If you want to send your child to a preschool tailored to meet the needs of children with autism, you will meet up with two potential hurdles. The first is that these preschools can carry a hefty price tag. Check with preschools of interest to determine if they offer scholarships or other programs to help offset the cost of tuition.

Another problem you will meet if you want to enroll your child in a preschool program for autism, is a limited number of such preschools. There are a few ways that you can search for a private preschool in your area. Contact the local school district to determine if they can identify any programs in your area. You can also talk to your child’s physician. They might have personal knowledge to assist your family or they might have learned about preschools from the parents of other children with autism. If you belong to a support group for parents of autistic children, ask other parents where they sent their child for preschool. You will need to research and talk to others in order to find potential preschools.

Finding a preschool for your child with autism can make a big impact in their life. If children are worked with at an early age, you can see a difference in their development. This early education and intervention can last your child a lifetime.

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