Nebraska ASD Network History
The incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is increasing nationally and Nebraska is no exception. In the late 1990s, educators and parents requested the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE)- Office of Special Education to take a lead role in assisting school districts in providing appropriate services for students with ASD.
The Special Education Advisory Council appointed an ad hoc committee comprised of educators, parents, university and state agency representatives to create a Nebraska State Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The State Plan was completed in 2000 and implementation began in 2002. The state plan was revised in January of 2013.
Nebraska ASD Network Composition
The Nebraska Department of Education, Office of Special Education, oversees the Nebraska ASD Network. In 2002, five (5) ASD Regions were established across Nebraska to provide support for Nebraska schools and families impacted by autism spectrum disorders. In addition to the five ASD Regional Coordinators, an ASD Network State Coordinator is housed at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln to coordinate the services of the ASD Network.
ASD State Standing Committee
The ASD State Standing Committee is a Standing Committee of SEAC. It consists of approximately 25 members who are appointed by the Commisioner of Education. The committee is made up of at least 3 members from each ASD region to provide for statewide geographic representation.
The Nebraska Department of Education and the State Board of Education seek advice regarding programs for children with ASDs from the Nebraska Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC). SEAC seeks advice from the ASD Standing Committee concerning the education of children with ASDs. At least one member from SEAC serves on the ASD Standing Committee as a liaison between the two groups.
Nebraska ASD Network Goals
The goals of the Nebraska ASD Network are to:
- Build and enhance the capacity of Nebraska schools and families in supporting children across the autism disorders spectrum
- Provide training and technical assistance to Nebraska educators in providing appropriate services to students across the autism spectrum from birth to age 21
Funding for the Nebraska ASD Network
The Nebraska ASD Network is funded by the Nebraska Department of Education, Office of Special Education, through IDEA Part B and C Set-Aside funds.