Autistic Support Services

The Montgomery County Intermediate Unit offers school-age Autistic Support classrooms in districts across the county for students from Kindergarten through age 21.  Our Autistic Support classroom programs utilize a whole child approach to learning by focusing simultaneously on academics, communication skills, behavior management, functional life and workplace skills, and related services needs to prepare our students for the post-secondary world. 

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): Elementary

An Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) classroom is available at the elementary level for children in grades K-2. This program utilizes evidence-based practices such as The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) to build a communication and academic plan for students. All elementary Autistic Support classrooms are also supported by behavior consultants, related service providers, a social worker, and classroom assistants.

Competent Learner Model (CLM): Elementary

A Competent Learner Model (CLM) classroom is available at the elementary level for children in grades 3-6. This program offers an intensive, individualized teaching program designed to provide a high level of structure in the learning environment so that children acquire the competencies necessary to be successful across learning environments. All elementary Autistic Support classrooms are also supported by behavior consultants, related service providers, a social worker, and classroom assistants.

Social Communications Classroom

Social Communication classrooms are available at the elementary level for children in grades K-4. This program focuses on core academics and the use of language in social contexts. This program encompasses social interaction, social cognition, pragmatics and language processing as dually instructed by a classroom teacher and Speech and Language Pathologist.

All elementary Autistic Support classrooms are also supported by behavior consultants, related service providers, a social worker, and classroom assistants.

social circle in classroom

Secondary Classrooms

Autistic Support at the secondary level has a strong focus on both transitional and academic skills in grades 7-12+.  While students continue to participate in academic classes and work on IEP goals at this level, transition planning begins by the year students turn 14 years of age.  Students now focus on skills needed to support their individual plan of post-secondary education, employment, and independent living skills.  Community based instruction with related services support students in generalizing skills into the community multiple times per school year. Many students also participate in half or full day work programs with support later into their educational experiences. Our secondary programs can support students through age 21 in collaboration with the MCIU’s Secondary Transition Program.  Secondary Autistic Support classrooms are supported by behavior consultants, related service providers, a social worker, an adapted PE teacher, and classroom assistants.

Extended School Year

MCIU will continue to operate certain extended school year (ESY) classrooms, as well as coordinate the placement of students at ESY approved private school classrooms.

Kelly Lauer

Kelly Lauer

Program Administrator for Autistic Support, MDS, and Life Skill
Office: 484-808-5345

Kelly Lauer has over 20 years of experience in the education field. She has held various roles such as Teacher of Students who are Visually Impaired (TVI), Assistive Technology Specialist, and Co-Chair of the Deaf-Blind Resource Team.  She has also held certifications as an Apple Certified Teacher, OSMO Certified Ambassador, Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator, Google Educator, and JAWS certified professional. Kelly has experience working within the approved private school, district, and itinerant setting. She has served on the Board of Director for The Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (Penn-Del AER), Middle States Accreditation, and website redesign committees. She is passionate about Universal Design for Learning and accessible technology integration to meet the needs of diverse learners in the classroom.  

Kelly graduated from Kutztown University with certifications in Elementary Education and Special Education – Visually Impaired, earned a Master’s in Educational Learning Differences and PreK-12 Special Education from Cabrini University, Assistive Technology Certification from California State University Northridge (CSUN), and currently completing her doctorate in Special Education Leadership from Gwynedd Mercy University. 

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