New Special Education Program at DBHS

Gaby Dinh, Assistant Web Editor

With Diamond Bar High School’s new special education program, autistic students will not only receive a personalized education, but will also be able to experience the daily life of a Brahma. Taught by new instructor Ray Crummit, the Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders class is designed to help autistic students transition out of their special education class and eventually adjust themselves to a regular education program. DBHS had a similar special education class last year; however, this year the class is more tailored for those with autism, while last year it also incorporated students who did not have Autism or related disorders.

In the past, students who took the ASRD class were part of the Los Angeles County of Education program, and only traveling to DBHS to take the class. Starting this year however, they have become a part of the Walnut Valley Unified School District, as the WVUSD made the ASRD class its own. This decision was made so that the students could remain at DBHS instead of moving to other school districts that might not have the sufficient facilities to accommodate them.

This is Crummitt’s first time teaching students in an ASRD class. His prior teaching experience was in the Los Angeles Valley Unified School District, where he taught severely handicapped students as a part of the LACOE program.

“I’m learning to get to work with these students as you’re learning to get to know them,” Crummitt said. “So this is a program new to me as well.”

While the students in the ARSD class are high functioning autistic students who stay in the same classroom all day, they follow the regular six-period schedule and learn the general subjects, such as math, English and science. They also have a class in which they learn money management. Modified for each individual, the classes are taught at different levels depending on the student.

“There’s even a student that’s in pre-algebra,” Crummitt stated. “While they’re not at a high school level, they can understand what they read.”

Gradually, as the students become comfortable enough, they will enter regular classrooms.

“It would be nice that if students ever see any of these kids outside and around campus just to say hi to them. Integrate them into the general high school population as much as possible so that they feel comfortable and welcome, because overall that’s what we’re trying to do,” Crummitt said.