Setting up for Your Autistic Student’s Future Success

[Thaddeus Campbell] Hi, I’m Thaddeus Campbell this is Matthew
Morse, social worker from Maple Shade High School and this is Stairway to STEM. Matt
you and I have built a strong relationship over the last couple of
years working with my son who has ASD and I really wanted to pick your brain
to help other parents who maybe felt like I did before getting in contact
with you a little unaware of how do I communicate
with the school system for my child we already know they have autism, who should
I contact, who do I talk to, and how do I make sure that the school knows what’s
going on with our child? [Matthew Morse] Well you should be in contact with your
case manager so depending on which state we’re talking about though in New Jersey
the case manager is not the teacher. So parents would be calling me and asking
and explaining to me what’s been going on and talking about what’s happening in
school and kind of comparing notes. [Thaddeus] How does a parents interaction with the
school affect the school’s ability to help their child? [Matthew] I think it’s it’s
tremendous. You know I encourage parents to be in contact with the school as much
as possible, communication, communication, communication because you’re seeing you
know other things that we might not be seeing you know your kid better than we
do so that’s always something that is on my mind and it’s you know and if
parents aren’t reaching out to me I’d like to try to reach parents as much as
possible. [Thaddeus] What specifically when you do interact with parents are you are you
applying to what might be happening in a regular school day? [Matthew] Well I’m really
looking at skill. I’m really looking at trying to identify what are a students
strengths regarding skills and also looking at where the weaknesses. But I
want to see if it’s if it’s happening at home or and it’s happening at school
because I might be teaching a student something and they might not be able to
generalize it and do the same thing in other situations. So that is something
that we’ll need to figure out how to work with. [Thaddeus] Get on the same page as far as
what we’re doing at home and at school. Now I’m a parent I envision STEM for my
child, I’m thinking they’re gonna go to postgraduate something, how do I
communicate that to the school and how is that then used by the school in what
you’re doing? [Matthew] So students with an IEP starting in eighth grade or age 14 or if
it’s appropriate earlier that that conversation should be started. When you
have your annual review that should be part of the annual review. There’s a
section in the IEP that really talks about or actually prompts us all to
think about where is that student going and how are we going to get there and
what do we need to do in order to get there? [Thaddeus] Last question I have for you, we
established the plan the plans in action we’re seeing the results that we want to
see, now a parent’s getting ready as an 11th grader going into 12th grade to
start pursuing something postgraduate what services does the school offer to
help a parent then be able to make those connections into what the next step is
going to be? [Matthew] So you would be working with the case manager as well as the school
counselor because their expertise is knowing what are the criteria for, what a
student needs to be able to do in order to be successful post graduation so if
the student is going to college that school counselor is going to know better
about what are the demands? Whether or if you’re going to a certificate doing a
certificate program that counselor should know what you know what what’s
needed in order to be successful. [Thaddeus] Let’s send a parent in the right direction for
who they should be talking to next. [Matthew] Absolutely and also it’s working with
the case manager because it’s something that’s important to me I also want to
know those things too because a lot of times I’ll be the first person that a parent will
be in contact with and part of my job is to steer a parent to those resources
but also I I want to be able to know what those resources are so that I can
tell a parent and help normalize what that
process might be. [Thaddeus] Love it. Matthew Morse, social worker Maple Shade High School. I’m
Thaddeus Campbell this is Stairway to STEM.

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