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Jill Hughes Ed.S., LABA, BCBA
Director of Intensive Services
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Autism Services

HPS supports students with autism from preschool through high school

Holyoke Public Schools provides a continuum of services for students with autism from preschool through high school. Depending upon their needs, students may be placed in: 

  • Integrated classrooms;

  • Substantially separate classrooms that follow an applied behavior analysis (ABA) approach to learning; or

  • Life skills and pre-vocational trained classrooms for students starting at grade 6.

Our IEP teams—which include the student’s parents—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, which also include:

  • Board-certified behavior analysts (BCBA) and autism specialists

  • Speech-language pathologists (SLP)

  • Occupational therapists (OT)

  • Physical therapists (PT)

  • Vision specialists (TVI)

  • Assistive technology specialists (AT)

  • Psychologists

  • Adjustment counselors

  • Special education teachers

  • Adapted physical education (APE) teachers

  • Autism & ABA trained paraprofessionals (including bilingual support)

  • Behavioral technicians (BT) and Registered Behavioral Technicians (RBT)

We offer a variety of services and supports, including:

  • Autism consultation based on principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) for staff and families

  • Social skills training

  • Puberty education for adolescent students

  • Verbal behavior approach and 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 and other evidence-based interventions

  • Functional behavior assessments (FBA) and behavior support plans (BSP)

  • Extended year services (EYS) for qualifying students

  • Comprehensive staff training

Additional information and resources can be found here.