Autism is defined by IDEIA (Individual with Disabilities Improvement Act) as a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3 that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has a serious emotional disturbance.

A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three could be identified as having autism if the requirements of the first two sentences of this definition are satisfied.


The Bay Village School District offers individualized services for students on the Autism Spectrum from preschool through age 22. We offer a comprehensive, eclectic program based on the most current autism research. We maintain a commitment to the professional development and training of our staff members so they can access research-supported practices and methods for instruction.

Our speech pathologists and selected intervention specialists have been trained in the use of PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), the use of assistive technology and language-based treatment models. Our early childhood and primary grade intervention specialists have received training in the T.E.A.C.C.H (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-Handicapped Children).

We have both Intervention Specialists and Paraprofessionals trained in the use of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). Our district has an on-going partnership with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism Outreach Division. The Cleveland Clinic consultants have provided staff training, in-home support for families and assistance to our IEP teams for developing effective, individualized programs for our students on the Autism Spectrum.

Our school psychologists are uniquely qualified to assist educational teams in determining the identification of autism as an educational handicap.

Our goal is to maximize the learning of all of our students, and to improve the quality of each student's life and learning. We believe that our students on the Autism Spectrum need to be educated in the least restrictive environment possible, with access to the general curriculum as well as to specialized instruction geared to their unique needs. Our students benefit greatly from being educated in their own community in classrooms with typical peers from whom they can learn.

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