|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, July 11, 2002|
|Contact:||Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106|
$1.8 Million in Federal Grants Awarded to Aid Autism Instruction and Awareness
MALDEN - Autistic students in more than 50 communities across the state will benefit from a $1.8 million federal grant program designed to aid students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
“Exploring the Options for Children with Autism” will provide selected school districts and educational collaboratives with up to $75,000 each year over the next three years to build understanding of ASD for students, families and all school personnel through training and ongoing technical assistance.
The Massachusetts Board of Education approved the 26 grants at their monthly meeting in June. In all, 91 applications were filed for the grant.
“The rising number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Massachusetts has created an educational and fiscal challenge for our schools,” said Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll. “This new program will not only help us address the needs of students affected by this disorder, but help us educate teachers and other students on how to deal with its impact.”
ASD include a variety of diagnoses, including autism, Asperger’s Sundrome, Pervasive Developmental Delay Not Otherwise Specified, Rhetts Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
Nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as many as one in 500 children have been diagnosed with some type of ASD. And national statistics show that more children with ASD are heading to public schools. According to the Department of Public Health, early intervention programs that specialize in providing services to infants and toddlers with ASD saw a dramatic increase in the population they serve. In 2001, 628 children were being served, up from just 340 in 1999, the specialized program’s first year of service.
| ACCEPT Education Collaborative ||$75,000|
|Adams-Cheshire Regional School District ||75,000|
| Athol-Royalston Regional School District ||8,000|
| Bi-County Collaborative ||75,000|
| Brockton Public Schools|| 75,000|
| Everett Public Schools ||75,000|
| Fitchburg Public Schools ||75,000|
| Greenfield Public Schools ||75,000|
| Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District ||75,000|
| Leominster Public Schools ||75,000|
| Longmeadow Public Schools ||75,000|
| Lowell Public Schools ||75,000|
| Marblehead Public Schools ||66,000|
| Martha's Vineyard Regional School District ||69,000|
| Methuen Public Schools ||75,000|
| Middleton Public Schools ||75,000|
| North River Collaborative||75,000|
| Northampton Public Schools ||75,000|
| Northborough-Southborough Regional School District ||75,000|
| Old Rochester Regional School District ||75,000|
| Project SPOKE Collaborative ||72,895|
|SEEM Collaborative ||75,000|
| Shore Collaborative ||75,000|
| Springfield Public Schools ||75,000|
| Tyngsboro Public Schools ||75,000|
| Worcester Public Schools ||75,000|
| TOTAL FEDERAL FUNDS|| $1,865,895|