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Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

Looking for the right autism school in Massachusetts for your child can feel overwhelming. With so many options and things to consider, where do you even start? Don’t worry, you got this. We know you want your kiddo to thrive, and the perfect school is out there. We’ll walk you through everything – how to tell if a school really “gets” autism, questions to ask, red flags to watch for, and more. You’re already an amazing advocate for your child. With this guide to special ed schools in Massachusetts, you’ll feel empowered to find a place where your little one will be understood, challenged, and able to blossom into their best self. Let’s do this.

Top-Rated Autism Schools in Massachusetts

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a group of complex disorders of brain development. ASD impacts the way a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. The symptoms of ASD appear in the early stages of childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact.

Communication difficulties

ASD can make it challenging for a child to communicate effectively with words or understand nonverbal communication cues like eye contact or facial expressions. Some children with ASD may be nonverbal or have speech delays.  Even children with strong verbal skills may struggle to understand abstract language or interpret subtle meanings in conversations.

Repetitive behaviors

Children with ASD often engage in repetitive movements, like rocking, spinning or hand flapping. They may also demonstrate rigid thinking patterns and have a strong need for routines. Changes to schedules or environments can trigger distressing behaviors. Special interests are also common, where a child is intensely focused on a specific topic, toy or activity.

Sensory issues

Many children with ASD experience sensory issues, meaning they may be over- or under-responsive to sensory input like sounds, lights, smells, and touch.  Loud noises, bright lights, certain textures of food or clothing that most people can tune out can be overwhelming and distracting for a child with ASD. Providing occupational therapy and a sensory-friendly environment can help address these challenges.

With the right support services and education, children with ASD can thrive. Understanding the unique needs of a child with ASD is key to helping them reach their full potential.

Choosing the right school is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your child. Do your research, visit schools, ask lots of questions, and go with what feels like the best fit. With the help of these top-rated autism schools, your child will get the support they need to reach their full potential.