christina thompson spotlight

April is Autism Awareness Month and IMESD is highlighting our Autism Consultants!

Christina Thompson is an Autism Consultant who has worked for the agency for two and a half years. 

Can you describe your job?  My job is to support teachers and staff who have students on autism IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) in their classrooms. My job is to coach and train staff on evidence-based practices that best support students with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) so students can be successful in their learning environment. I also serve as an advocate for students and staff when needed.

How do you think your work contributes to student success?  When I work with educators to help them understand how an individual with ASD may think and process things differently, they are better equipped to meet students where they are, identify the student's strengths and build from those.

What do you enjoy most about your job?  I enjoy watching my students make progress and hit milestones that others maybe once thought were impossible.

What is something people may not know about Autism Spectrum Disorder?  Brain scans literally show differences in the structure and function of the brain of someone with ASD. However, no two people with autism are the same -- that’s why we take a personalized approach to each person we work with. People with autism have unique gifts and can contribute to their communities in many ways. The best advocacy occurs with education, respect and the presumption of competence for all. Autism isn’t a disability, it’s a different ability.