NEW-S Project- A Collaborative Inclusion Model for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Photo of child
  • Elwyn Davidson School

    IU25 - Delaware County Intermediate Unit
    Wallingford-Swarthmore SD
    111 Elwyn Road
    Elwyn, PA 19063

  • Success Story Contact

    Donna Toll
    Phone: 610-891-2211

  • BSE/PaTTAN’s Role in Success:

    PaTTAN provides training and technical assistance on various topics related to Autism Spectrum Disorder. PaTTAN consultants work collaboratively with IU and school district staff to review training materials, problem solve, and share ideas in the quest to serve students with autism and their families.

Wallingford-Swarthmore School District staff worked in collaboration with consultants from Neumann College and Elwyn to build capacity within the schools so children with autism could stay within the district.

Four years ago, a collaborative partnership among Neumann College, Elwyn’s Division of Education, and the Wallingford Swarthmore School District, called the NEW-S Project, was born. The partnership fosters opportunities within the district for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder to receive instruction and related services programming in classrooms with typically developing peers. The NEW-S Project continues to this day. The initial motivation for this partnership was to build capacity within the schools so children with autism could stay within the district. Specialists from Elwyn and Neumann provided intensive training and support on site, designed to improve the quality of education for all of the students, while including parents in the partnership. From the beginning, the approach was very hands on. Parents met with district administrators and Neumann and Elwyn personnel to discuss the program. It was a unique approach that paid off and, for the last four years, the program has been going strong in the elementary schools. Next year, the program will continue as students and parents who were initially involved in the project move to the middle school. The NEW-S Project could not have been successful without the participation of the parents on the team and the willingness of the Wallingford Swarthmore School District staff to learn new supports to benefit all children.

One student who directly benefited from the NEW-S Project was John*. When John entered first grade, everyday he spent a lot of time rolling on the floor, saying over and over again, “That’s not funny, that’s not funny, that’s not funny.” Fast-forward to his second grade class where John is fully included, he is behaving appropriately, and he is on grade level academically. John’s teachers recognized that he had the mental capacity to do the work, but needed extra behavioral supports to succeed. His teachers recognized John’s potential as a direct result of the NEW-S Project. Congratulations to Elwyn, Neumann College, and the Wallingford Swarthmore School District for their success story! *not his real name.