"I am so happy to have found this support and a society that understands the overwhelming needs of raising a child with ASD. Thank you again!"

- A.B.

Autism Support in Local Schools



Great start to the school year? Not so great? Not sure yet? We want to know!

The ASBC Education Committee is currently gathering information from parents, via survey, on their experiences in the local school districts (BVSD and SVVSD). What we want to know is what things are, and are not, working for your children at school.

We understand that time is precious for all families and that surveys are easy to ignore or put off until later. However, if we can’t get people to fill out the survey, it looks like everyone is satisfied with their current situation and there is no need to work towards change and improvement.

Right now, we have a real opportunity to affect policies that are implemented at all schools. Members of our Education Committee have made appointments with members of the school boards of both Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley school districts. If we can attend those meetings with data from the hundreds of families who have a child with autism receiving public education, we will have a much stronger position during these conversations. The survey is completely anonymous and data will only be presented as aggregates. Help us find out what the most common issues are for families so we can present them to the people who can make a difference.

We recognize that what we are unable to capture in this survey are the experiences of families who--out of necessity, frustration, etc.--have pulled their kids from public schools and are either home-schooling them or have placed them (or the districts have placed them) in private schools or centers. That information is extremely important and useful as well. Should you wish to share your story with school board members (again, this would be anonymous), then please send an email directly to the Education Committee at education@autismboulder.org.

Be sure to use this updated link to participate in the survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PWN2HNG



Boulder Valley School District


Autism Consultant Team

The vision of the BVSD Autism Consultant Team (ACT) is to promote the success of all students through assisting in the delivery of inclusive quality educational services. The BVSD ACT team provides an array of research-based strategies and empowers school-based teams, families and students through collaboration and professional development. The ACT team is interdisciplinary and may include Special Education Teacher, Social Worker/Psychologist, Speech-Language Pathologist, and Occupational Therapist. The ACT team also provides screenings of school aged students with characteristics of ASD who do not have a medical diagnosis of ASD. In some cases, the ACT team administers an in-depth assessment to determine eligibility for an educational identification of Autism. 
Autism Consultant Team provides assistance through coaching and modeling with the following:
•Inclusion strategies
•Curriculum adaptations and modifications
•Peer Coaching
•Differentiated Instruction
•Social skills
•Relationship development
•Professional development
•Disability Awareness
•Visual supports
•Functional Behavioral Assessment and Positive Behavior Support Planning
•Instructional Strategies
•Organizational supports 
•Behavioral Strategies
•Data collection tools & strategies
•Educational Identification of Autism

BVSD Autism Consultant Team Members
Michelle Brenner, Director of Elementary Special Education            
Dawn Collamer, BCBA, Special Education Teacher and Autism Behavior Consultant            
Kelly Miller, BCBA, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Autism Behavior Consultant            
Emily Engle-Baillon, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech            
Jill Cox, Occupational Therapist

Requests and referrals to the autism team are made by the school. Please contact your school directly with questions. For general questions the BVSD District special education office can be reached at 720-561-5155. 

BVSD's Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)

The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) is a forum that brings together parents, staff, students and the community. The purpose of SEAC is to ensure meaningful and sustainable communication, while disseminating information, sponsoring presentations, and discussing the impact of state legislation related to students with disabilities. SEAC's goal is to support the educational experience of students with disabilities and to advocate for continuous improvement within Boulder Valley School District.

SEAC meets once a month at the BVSD Education Center, typically on Wednesday, alternating months between morning and evening meetings. Each meeting includes: Parent Input, Presentations/Education, and Discussion with the Director of Special Education. Parents are the foundation of SEAC and a parent representative from every BVSD school (including preschools and transition services) in invited to join the Committee. Parent reps can share seats and other parents are always welcome to attend SEAC's public meetings. Parents are always needed, so please consider joining! The Parent members are expected to report back to their school governing committee such as PTO or SIT so that special education has a natural seat at the table. Other SEAC members include representatives from the BVSD School Board, central administration, principals, teachers, para-professionals and other related staff, as well as students and many members from the community.

As an advisory committee, SEAC does not make policy, but gives input to the BVSD special education department, and encourages professional development for staff and education for parents.  It also encourages community members to report to their organizations. SEAC's hope is to make the connections between us all stronger so it can sustain its commitment to ensure all students succeed.

SEAC's accomplishments include:
  • Parent education workshops and presentations (ABC's of IEPs, Literacy nights, Inclusive Education, AD/HD Supports, etc)
  • On the Road Transitioning Into Adulthood ongoing multi-agency series
  • Spread the Word to End the Word national campaign to end the use of the r-word (www.facebook.com/BVSDSpreadtheword)
  • Autism Society Teacher Education series
  • AD/HD Conference
To find out more about SEAC, go to the BVSD SEAC webpage
You can also contact the SEAC coordinator, Anna Stewart, through the BVSD Parent Support Center at 720.561.5918 or anna.stewart@bvsd.org. Contact Anna to be added to the SEAC email list too.


St. Vrain Valley School District

The St. Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD) provides a full continuum of support for students who have autism spectrum disorders. Most of our students’ needs can be met within their neighborhood or home school. The school district provides training and support for teachers and school staff who work with students who have autism spectrum disorders.

The focus of programming for students with moderate to severe autism spectrum disorders is to develop the academic and functional life skills necessary to be as independent as possible and have a satisfying quality of life post graduation. Skills and routines that have specific a purpose and occur in real life are an important component of instructional focus.

Students with Asperger’s Syndrome or more mild levels of need typically are included in the general education classroom. Because such students, in general, respond well to academic expectations, their needs are often overlooked. The focus of programming for this population is to develop skills in the areas of social functioning (i.e., perspective taking, understanding social situations and emotions), executive functioning (i.e., planning, organizing, attending), problem solving, language comprehension, and homework or work completion. In addition, other severe mental health issues may be prevalent such as, suicidal ideation, anxiety, or depression.

SVVSD provides programming aligned with the Colorado Department of Education’s Autism Programming Quality Indicators, listed below:
  • Individual Evaluation and Individualized Education Programs
  • Curriculum, Instruction and Methodology
  • Monitoring and Review of Progress and Outcomes
  • Family Support & Involvement
  • Transition
  • Behavior
Some students require more intensive services within a more restrictive environment. SVVSD has specialized programs for students in Preschool – 12th grade to meet these needs. The locations for these programs are: Longmont Estates Elementary (K-5), Niwot Elementary, Prairie Ridge Elementary, Altona MS, Coal Ridge MS, Mead HS, Niwot HS, and LSA (18-21 yr program).

For more information, contact Holly Danielson or Lauren Bredickas at 303.772.7700



For a comprehensive list of private school options, please visit the website for Boulder Area Consortium of Independent Schools at  http://bacis.org.