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Autism Consultants

Susan Askeland


Jaime Beedle-Vakiner


Courtney Butler

Wendi Kaiser


Michelle Nuehring


Kelli Robertson


Monica Ryan-Rausch


Michelle Sunner


De Wagner


Adapted PE Consultant

Ann Griffin



Lindsay Bascom


Kelly McCulloh


Robin Endsley


Jennifer Rinas


Monica Goodvin


Sarah Gwinnup


Julie O'Malley


Denise Wedel


Janel Lesan

Regional Administrator


Jeanie Wade Nagle

Early Education Supervisor


Who Are We

Members of Grant Wood AEA’s Autism Core Team provide a variety of services. These services include:  agency inservices, on-site inservices, team consultation, student observation, attend IEP meetings, functional analyses, educating peers about autism, and a variety of other services to help support individuals in the autism spectrum and the staff working with them.


For more information, visit the GWAEA Autism Toolbox Google site.

Requests for Autism Consultation

Please contact the GWAEA support personnel within your building. They will be able to share with you how to access the autism consultant for both students with and without an IEP. 

Characteristics of Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders


•The student displays problems extending into many aspects of the communication process. 

•Language, if present, may lack usual communicative function, content, or structure.

•Characteristics may involve both deviance and delay in both receptive and expressive language.

Social Participation

•The student displays difficulties in relating to people, objects, and events.

•Often students are unable to establish and maintain reciprocal relationships with people.

•The capacity to use objects in an age appropriate or functional manner may be absent, arrested, or delayed. 

•The student may seek consistency in social events to the point of exhibiting rigidity in routines.

Repertoire of Activities, Interests, and Imaginative Development

•The student displays marked distress over changes, insistence in following routines, and a persistent occupation with or attachment to objects. 

•The student may display a markedly restricted range of interest and/or stereo-typed body movements. 

•There may be a lack of interest or an inability to engage in imaginative activities.

Developmental Rates and Sequences

•The student may exhibit delays, arrests, regressions in physical, social, or learning skills. 

•Areas of precocious or advanced skill development may also be present, while other skills may develop at normal or extremely depressed rates.

•The order of skill acquisition frequently does not follow normal developmental patterns.

Sensory Processing

•The student may exhibit unusual, repetitive, or non-meaningful responses to auditory, visual, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, and/or kinesthetic stimuli.

•The student’s behavior may vary from high levels of activity and responsiveness to low levels.


•The student may exhibit abnormalities in the thinking process and in generalizing.
•Difficulties in abstract thinking, awareness and judgment may be present as well as perseverative thinking and impaired ability to process symbolic information.

Grant Wood AEA Autism Related Training Opportunities

Training opportunities are available for parents, teachers, administrators, and Grant Wood AEA staff. Visit the Grant Wood AEA Professional Development website for updated information.


The agency offers autism resources for check out through the Grant Wood AEA Media Center and the Parent Education Partnership. Visit these links to access a list of available resources.

SMART Newsletters (Sharing Monthly Autism Resources for Teaching)

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

August 2011September 2011

October 2011

January 2012

February 2012

Spring 2012



Additional Resources

Autism Society of America

Autism Society of Iowa

Autism Speaks

Illinois Autism Training & Technical Assistance Project

Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)


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Grant Wood Area Education Agency extends equal opportunities in its employment practices, educational programs and services, and does not discriminate on the basis of color, gender, race, national origin, religion, creed, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status or as otherwise prohibited by law. If you believe you or your child has been discriminated against or treated unjustly, please contact the Agency’s Equity Coordinator, Maria Cashman, at 319-399-6847 or 800-332-8488. Grant Wood AEA, 4401 Sixth St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

ADDRESS: 4401 Sixth Street SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
TELEPHONE: 319-399-6700 | 800-332-8488
Fax: 319-399-6457
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