March 2006 Dr. Kevin Lang, Chair Brookline School Committee 333 Washington St. Brookline, MA 02446 Dear Dr. Lang: We are writing to urge you and your colleagues on the School Committee to revise the proposed FY07 School Budget to include a full-time Board-Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA). Our children are the faces of the much-discussed increase in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). As parents, we have an obligation to speak out for our children, and to ensure that our schools are equipped to handle the increasing number of Brookline children with ASD. Successful inclusion of children with ASD requires a team approach involving administrators, teachers, specialists, aides and other professionals. A critical component of this team approach is the BCBA. In short, Board Certified Behavior Analysts are autism experts -- specialists trained to deal with the complex behavioral, social, and communication deficits that afflict all children with ASD. The proposed FY07 Budget for the Brookline Public Schools calls for the hiring of a part-time BCBA to help meet the needs of these children. This recommendation is a step in the right direction, and we commend Superintendent Lupini and the Brookline Public Schools for taking that step. However, the addition of one part-time BCBA will not be sufficient to meet the needs of the large number of children with autism spectrum disorders about to enter the K-8 level in Brookline. Currently, there is only one full-time BCBA on staff at the K-8 level in Brookline. One full-time BCBA and one part-time BCBA cannot realistically be expected to meet the needs of children with autism spectrum disorders in all eight of Brookline
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