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What is Autism?

A spectrum of neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by deficits in social interaction and communication, and unusual and repetitive behavior. Some, but not all, people with autism are non-verbal.

Autism is normally diagnosed before age six and may be diagnosed in infancy in some cases. The degree of autism varies from mild to severe in different children. Severely afflicted patients can appear profoundly cognitively impaired.

The causes of autism are not yet fully understood. However, it is believed that at least some cases involve an inherited or acquired genetic defect. Researchers have proposed that the immune system, metabolic, and environmental factors may play an important part as well. It is not caused by emotional trauma, as was once theorized.

Autism or autistic-like behavior may occur with many other neurological conditions.

The optimal treatment of autism involves an educational program that is suited to the child's developmental level.

Where can I go to find out more information about Autism?

START - http://www.gvsu.edu/autismcenter/ - The Statewide Autism Resources and Training (START) project is a state-funded project designed to provide training and technical assistance to educators in Michigan that serve students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). 

ASA - http://www.autism-society.org - Autism Society of America, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy.

What does Crestwood do to support autistic students?

Regularly scheduled team meetings occur at the elementary level to support autistic students.

A team problem solving approach is used to identify problems and to create action plans to address problems.

Evidence-based practices are used including positive behavioral supports, educational strategies, peer to peer supports, and visual supports.

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