Family SHADE

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Family Support for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder


The Adapting Curriculum and Classroom Environments for Student Success (ACCESS) project at the University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies is designed to provide educators, families and community members the necessary tools to improve educational outcomes for students with significant intellectual disabilities.

To accomplish this goal, professional development and technical assistance is provided to educators in the areas of navigating the Delaware Content Standards and Grade Band Extensions (GBEs), standards-based lesson planning, adapting classroom materials, and teaching strategies. The ACCESS project also addresses how to balance standards-based instruction with the many other outcome areas that are vital for students with autism such as daily living, real life application and vocational training.

Workshops are provided by the ACCESS Project Family Liaison to keep families of students with autism informed on these topics as well as the state’s alternate assessment, DCAS-Alt1; individual consultation is also available. Click HERE to visit the ACCESS website.


Systematic Processes for Enhancing and Assessing Communication Supports (SPEACS) is a low incidence initiative designed to improve communication and educational services to students with significant disabilities. SPEACS focuses on training teams to work with targeted students who have complex communication needs and participate in the alternate assessment. Nonverbal students with autism who do not currently have a reliable means of communication may benefit from this initiative.

The main focus of SPEACS is to assist teams in progressing students from pre-symbolic and emergent communication to symbolic communication. Non-verbal students with autism who do not currently have a reliable means of communication may benefit from this process.

Teams are comprised of the student’s family, speech/language pathologists, special and general educators, and other related service personnel. Applicants must submit a completed school team and parent application during specific time periods to be considered. Parents of accepted students are encouraged to participate in all team training and coaching sessions and are provided with individual support as needed. Click HERE for more information about SPEACS.

Family SHADE

Family SHADE, Family Support and Healthcare Alliance DElaware, is a community dedicated to supporting families of children with disabilities and chronic medical conditions. Family SHADE helps families of children with ASD and other disabilities connect with the resources that they need to improve their quality of life.  Family SHADE helps families connect with services, providers and organizations by searching the Family SHADE database.

  • To access the database click on the pink “Search Providers Here” button on the home page
  • Learn about events and activities in your area by clicking on the Events & Activities tab on the home page
  • Interact with other families and organizations through the Facebook page
  • Connect with the resources you need by calling the Help Line at 1-855-755-7423
Autism Delaware

Autism Delaware provides support to people and families affected by autism. They offers a host of services including information and referral, parent mentoring, quarterly newsletter, speaker meetings and conferences, stipends, advocacy to state and federal officials, school districts, and the medical community.  Autism Delaware also provides clinical services in the areas of functional behavioral assessments, psychoeducational, clinical, and behavioral evaluations and independent educational evaluations. In addition, Autism Delaware offers employment services through their POW&R Program for Adults—The Productive Opportunities for Work & Recreation (POW&R). Click HERE to visit Autism Delaware’s website.

Parent Information Center of Delaware

The Parent Information Center (PIC) provides information about disabilities and special education rights, consultation about obtaining appropriate services for children with disabilities, and helps parents prepare for Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and other school meetings. The Parent Information Center can assist you to better understand your child’s rights and opportunities in education, obtain information about all types of disabilities, find solutions to problems and concerns about educational services, and learn about programs and services that promote growth and independence. Click HERE to visit PIC’s website.