Autism

About the Autism Program

Holyoke Public Schools provides a continuum of services for students with autism from preschool through high school. Our IEP teams determine the most appropriate programs and services, based on each student’s level of need. Our students are educated in the least restrictive environment, and we follow a team-based approach to provide the most comprehensive services, delivered by a variety of service providers. Parents are the most important members of our teams.

The HPS Autism Program offers a variety of placements that may include:

  • Integrated classrooms
  • Substantially separate classrooms that follow an applied behavior analysis (ABA) approach to learning
  • Functionally-based classrooms for students starting at grade 5

The HPS Autism Program offers a variety of services and supports that may include:

  • Autism consult based on principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) for staff & parents
  • Social skills training
  • Puberty education for adolescent students
  • Verbal behavior approach & augmentative communication training
  • Visual supports, social stories, and other classroom enhancements
  • Sensory groups and sensory diets from the occupational therapist
  • Research-based curriculum, assessments, and skill tracking systems
  • Behavior reduction and replacement using positive behavioral supports & other evidence-based interventions
  • Functional behavior assessments (FBA) & behavior intervention plans (BIP)
  • Extended year services (EYS) for students with documented history of regression
  • Autism screenings and services eligibility determination
  • Comprehensive staff training

The HPS Autism Program offers and collaborates with a variety of service providers that may include:

  • Board certified behavior analysts (BCBA) and autism specialists
  • Speech language pathologists (SLP)
  • Occupational therapists (OT)
  • Physical therapists (PT)
  • Vision specialists
  • Augmentative communication & assistive technology specialists
  • Psychologists
  • Adjustment counselors
  • Special education teachers
  • Adapted physical education (APE) teachers
  • Autism & ABA trained paraprofessionals (including bilingual support)
  • Autism interventionists