New program training educators on teaching autistic students - FOX34 Lubbock

New program training educators on teaching autistic students

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"There's a saying that if you see one kid with autism, then you've seen one kid with autism, because they are so individual in terms of their specific needs.," Jennifer Hamrick said.

The Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research at Texas Tech is providing teachers the opportunity to advance their skills while working with students on the spectrum.

It is a free program made possible by a new $460,000 grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

"We recently conducted a study that we're hoping will be published in the very near future that looked at the availability of trainings that teachers in Texas have," Hamrick said."While teachers know what resources they should be using in the classroom setting, they don't always have access to high quality training."

The program is available to teachers state-wide. Hamrick, an assistant professor at the center, says their work has already impacted thousands of students. 

"Each time we talk with teachers, we talk about strengths that the child has, because that's definitely something that we want to build on. But also looking at deficits that could be impacting them both academically and behaviorally," she said. 

School safety amid the pandemic, also is a major concern for some parents. 

So the center is using another grant to address home-schooling an autistic child.

"That can help with families who've decided to keep their child at home this coming school year. We are providing what's called parent-implementation intervention services.," Hamrick explained. "Kind of talking through with the parent on how to address some of those same skill deficits that we talk about with the teacher training grant that we have. "

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