Moran Recognizes World Autism Day with Visit to Barcroft Elementary School
Announces re-introduction of AUTISM Educators Act
Arlington, Va. – Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, marked World Autism Day with a visit to Barcroft Elementary School where he met with students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and read to first grade students. The innovate training that Barcroft Elementary provides for all staff members allows students with ASD to be successful in general education settings.
“Autism Spectrum Disorder now affects nearly two million Americans,” said Rep. Moran. “Arlington Public Schools are leading the way in implementing innovative learning techniques for this growing population of students. I applaud their efforts to foster a community of awareness and acceptance for students with ASD.”
Moran toured general education classrooms that include students with ASD and also smaller special education settings including the Multi Intervention Program for Autism (MIPA) designed for students with ASD who require more intensive educational interventions.
“We appreciate Congressman Moran’s continued interest and support and are grateful that he took this opportunity to visit Barcroft Elementary School and look forward to sharing more information about our programs with him,” said Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy. “Arlington Public Schools is at the forefront of efforts to provide appropriate accommodations for students with autism. Our Multi-Intervention Program for Students with Autism (MIPA) begins with pre-kindergarten children and a continuum of intervention services are available to adapt to the student’s specific needs throughout his or her educational career in APS. We have seen great results because of the efforts put forth by our teachers, specialists, and the students themselves.”
Moran also announced to a group of school administrators, teachers, and aides plans to re-introduce the “AUTISM Educators Act,” to create a pilot program to train general education teachers who work with students with ASD.
Moran continued: “While scientists work to discover the cause of ASD, children on the spectrum deserve the best possible education. The AUTISM Educators Act will allow schools across the country to implement training programs like those at Barcroft Elementary. Even in this partisan environment, I am confident this bill will become law.”
The “AUTISM Educators Act” would create a five-year pilot program that partners local school systems with university or non-profits to train general education teachers who work with children diagnosed with ASD. The program would be available only to schools with high incidences of ASD; qualifying school systems must have 10 percent or more of the special education population diagnosed with ASD.
“The number of families impacted by autism across the country continues to rise among all demographic sectors. Families and school officials are collaborating closely to get the right interventions for students with autism to succeed, but we can’t do it alone. We need Congress to recognize that students with ASD are a growing part of the general education population and that school districts need help to prepare for this challenge,” said Alex Arriaga, Arlington resident and parent of a child on the spectrum.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is now the fastest growing serious developmental disorder in the United States, with 1 in 88 children in the United States diagnosed with ASD.
To read a fact sheet on the AUTISM Educator’s Act, please visit: http://moran.house.gov/sites/moran.house.gov/files/documents/FactSheet.AUTISMEducatorsAct.pdf