1426 N Quincy St
Arlington, VA 22207
Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Autism Services

Autism Services

Educational Philosophy

When Arlington Public Schools develops programming to serve some of our students with Autism, we consider a wide variety of methods. The special programming developed includes strategies from some of the popular methodologies. Some methodologies that are commonly used include Applied Behavior Analysis, TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children), Floor Time, Sensory Processing Support, Discrete Trial Training, Verbal Behavior and Picture Exchange Communication System. Summary of Methodologies

ASD Consult form for ASD services (PDF)
Guidelines for Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (PDF)
Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Transition to Adulthood (PDF)

Programming for Students With Autism

  • Community Preschool with Special Education Resource Instruction
  • Neighborhood Schools with a wide range of inclusion opportunities
  • Cross-categorical self-contained classrooms at various grade levels with integration opportunities for ages 2-21
  • Multi-Intervention Program for Students with Autism (MIP-A) for students grades preschool-High School
  • Pre-school Autism class has a max of 6 students, 1 special education teacher, and 2 paraprofessional
  • Functional Life Skills program for children with various disabilities focusing on personal, academic and career needs for individual students
  • Stratford Program for students grades 6 and up with a focus on personal, academic, transition, functional life skills and career goals.
  • Summer Communication and Behavior Intervention program for grades preschool-5

APS Autism Specialists and Assignments 

Laura Depatch
Deborah Hammer
Joshua Taylor
 Barcroft*(1)  Abingdon* (2)  Ashlawn
 Campbell  ASF  ATS* (1)
 Carlin Springs  Career Center *(PEP)  Barrett
 Drew*(1)  Claremont  Glebe
 Gunston  HB Woodlawn*(2)  Kenmore*(2)
 Hoffman Boston*(3)  Henry  Key
 Jamestown*(1)  Jefferson*(1)  Long Branch* (2)
 Little Beginnings (PIP)  Langston  McKinley*(1)
 Oakridge  Stratford*(2)  Nottingham
 Reed*(1)  Wakefield* (2)  Randolph
 Swanson  Yorktown*(1)  Taylor*(2)
 Tuckahoe    Washington-Lee*(2)
* County-wide autism-specific program

Multi-Intervention Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (MIP-A) Methodologies

The Multi-Intervention Program for Students with Autism is designed to meet the needs of certain students with Autism. The goal of the program is to improve communication, on-task behavior, independent life skills, and the ability to relate to others. The program uses a variety of strategies within a highly structured setting to prepare students to transition to less restrictive settings. The secondary program aligns the functional academics/life skills curriculum with instructional strategies described in peer-reviewed research as being effective with this population of students.
Countywide Application
Students who require countywide programs like MIPA will attend the school closest to their neighborhood "home" school. In the case that the home school is at capacity, the next closest school will be considered.
  • Direct Instruction - systematic, comprehensive, and structured instruction to implement educational goals and objectives
  • Total Communication Approach to Instruction - providing a multitude of communication opportunities to improve receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language skills
  • Sensory Motor - addressing the vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile, auditory, visual, and movement needs of each student
  • Facilitated Play/Leisure Development - addressing the social, play, and leisure needs of each student

Pre-Kindergarten Autism Class (PAC)

The Pre-Kindergarten Autism Class (PAC) is an intensive special education program for students ages three to four who have significant deficits in communication and social interactions as a result of autism. Students in this program require extensive direct instruction due to interfering behaviors. This program utilizes an instructional approach that focuses on discrete trial training, pivotal response training and functional routines.

Students in this program are taught by a special educator and paraprofessional(s) with support from a speech and occupational therapist. Weekly support is provided by one of the country’s autism coordinators. There is a maximum of 6 students with 2 students to 1 adult ratio. Services are provided primarily in a self-contained special education setting with opportunities for integration based on individual student needs.

Curriculum is focused in the six curricular areas of receptive language, expressive language, spontaneous language, functional routines, academics, and play & social skills. There is extensive data collection and the use of STARs, a research based curriculum.
Location - Hoffman-Boston Elementary School
School Hours - 9:00 a.m. - 3:41 p.m.

Multi-Intervention Program for Students With Autism (Mini MIP-A)

 Location School Hours
 Arlington Traditional  8:25 a.m - 3:06 p.m.
 Hoffman-Boston  9:00 a.m. - 3:41 p.m.
 Long Branch  8:25 a.m - 3:06 p.m.
 Reed  8:00 a.m. - 2:41 p.m.

Multi-Intervention Program for Students With Autism (Grades K-5)

 Location  School Hours
 Abingdon (2 Classes)  8:00 a.m - 2:41 p.m.
 Barcroft  9:00 a.m. - 3:41 p.m.
 Drew  9:00 a.m. - 3:41 p.m.
 Hoffman-Boston  9:00 a.m. - 3:41 p.m.
 Jamestown  9:00 a.m. - 3:41 p.m.
 Taylor (2)  9:00 a.m. - 3:41 p.m.
 Long Branch  8:25 a.m - 3:06 p..m.
 McKinley  9:00 am- 3:41 p.m.

Secondary School Program for Students with Autism

This program is designed to provide specially designed instruction to middle and high school students who have a special education eligibility classification of Autism and require a program that has a focus on the development of social skills, organizational skills, and a challenging academic experience. Students will integrate into general education classes per services on the IEP and are instructed on grade-level SOL curriculum. Students will receive support in designated classes as needed with a goal of fostering independence.
 Location  School Hours
 H-B Woodlawn  9:24 a.m. - 4:06 p.m.
 Jefferson  7:50 a.m. - 2:24 p.m.
 Washington-Lee  8:19 a.m. - 3:01 p.m.
 Yorktown  8:19 a.m. - 3:01 p.m.


Multi-Intervention Program for Students With Autism (Grades 6-8)

 Location  School Hours
 Kenmore (2 Classes)  7:50 a.m. - 2:24 p.m.
 Williamsburg  7:50 a.m. - 2:24 p.m.


Multi-Intervention Program for Students With Autism (Grades 9-12)

 Location  School Hours
 Wakefield  8:19 a.m. - 3:01 p.m.
 Stratford (Grades 6-12)  9:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Staff Resources

  • Wendy Carria, Supervisor, Special Education, Programming 703-228-6050
  • Laura DePatch, Autism Specialist 703-228-2134
  • Joshua Taylor, Autism Specialist 703-228-6151
  • Deborah Hammer, Autism Specialist, 703-228-2133
  • Keieownna Hightower Behavior Specialist, 703-228-2586
  • Kathleen Donovan, Parent Resource Center, 703-228-2135
  • Dr. Kathy Heer, Behavior Specialist, 703-228-2599
  • Dr. Patricia Jones, Coordinator, Special Education, 703-228-8630
  • Ryann Galganowicz, Behavior Specialist, 703-228-2589
  • Elaine Porter, Coordinator, Speech and Language Therapy, 703-228-6045
  • Child Find, 703-228-2700
  • Parent Infant Education Program - PIE, 703-228-1630
  • Parent Resource Center, 703-228-7239
  • Joyce Kelly, Transition Coordinator, 703-228-6728
  • Karen Sherman, Transition Coordinator, 703-228-2545
  • Dr. Thomas Sweet, Transition Coordinator, 703-228-6255
  • Linda Saiidifar, Transition Coordinator, 703-228-6063