Autism Team Receives the Friends of Autism Team Award
April 10, 2017
The Syracuse District Autism Team (DAT) received the Friends of Autism Team Award at the state Autism Conference in Kearney, NE on March 30. The award is based on Commitment, Vision, Innovation, Inspiration, and Teamwork.
Three years ago the Nebraska Autism Network offered training for districts who were willing to develop a team of teachers who would take the presented information and implement the materials in the district. The Syracuse District Autism Team was formed and their commitment for sharing the information with others was implemented. The team meets once a month to determine information to share with staff and to set up trainings for teachers and paraprofessionals. Before school starts each fall the team determines their goals for the year and trainings to provide throughout the school year.
The team’s vision is to create a caring, supportive, and understanding environment for all students and staff. They are always looking for new and creative ways in which to bring understanding of autism to the district which, in turn, will be carried over into the classroom environment. Over the last three years the team has been driven with supporting staff in the understanding of students on the autism spectrum disorder. The team developed training which was geared towards Autism 101, behavior strategies, classroom setups that benefit students, raising expectations, picture charts and the use of routines, and sensory needs of the student with autism. The team has begun promoting Autism Awareness Day in the school by developing t-shirts for the school and community to purchase, and creating activities which are used in classrooms and in homeroom groups. In addition, the team supports the circle of friends groups that are created for our students with autism.