Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bills to reconfigure state autism education program introduced

Children with autism in Delaware could soon get new support in public schools under two new bills introduced Tuesday.

One bill would overhaul the existing Delaware Autism Program by hiring one specialist per 100 school children with the disorder and working with them in their home districts.

The second would also establish a one-stop shop for information related to Delaware’s autism programs.

“We’re linking all of these outside agencies that had a little bit of information here and a little bit of information there and put them all together so you don’t have to try to figure out, as a parent, when you first find out your child has autism, it will guide you through the process,” said one of the bill's sponsors Rep. Earl Jaques (D-Glasgow).

In all, the initial cost will be near $220,000, which Jaques says is "realistic". In the future, he notes that more specialists will be needed to accommodate the state's needs.

"That’ll get us started and it’ll go for a couple years that way and then we’ll have to increase [the budget]. The population is increasing greatly in people with autism.”

Currently, there are about 1,500 children in Delaware with autism.

The bills came out of recommendations from the Autism Education Task Force and have been introduced in the Senate.

Related Content