The Louisiana Autism Spectrum and Related Disabilities (LASARD) Project supports school districts across the state by providing training and coaching in evidence-based practices for students with ASD

December 13, 2018


The Louisiana Autism Spectrum and Related Disabilities (LASARD) Project has been a partnership between the LSUHSC Human Development Center and the Louisiana Department of Education since 2006.  The overall purpose of LASARD is to improve outcomes for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related disabilities by developing a pool of highly effective educators across the state. 

One-way LASARD accomplishes this goal is by providing in-person and online training to school districts, community organizations, and at regional workshops and state conferences. During the 2017-2018 school year, LASARD provided trainings that covered a wide range of topics to over 600 individuals online and over 1000 in person.  Over 3500 CEUs were granted over the year to educators, administrators, and related service providers.  Some of the most requested and unique topics include: ASD Overview and Essential Support Strategies, Functional Behavioral Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans, Accommodations and Modifications, Building Communication Opportunities, Incorporating Social Communication during Snack Time, Bullying, and Interacting with Survivors of Sexual Trauma that Have a Disability.

LASARD also provides intensive coaching to school districts to train educators in the classrooms to implement evidence-based practices.  In the 2017-2018 school year, LASARD facilitators spend over 500 hours in schools providing technical assistance on a variety of topics.  District level teams participate in intensive planning over the summer prior to the school year to determine priorities and set goals for schools, teachers, and students.  Progress is monitored through the Louisiana Autism Quality Indicators, an assessment tool for schools based on observation and document reviews, as well as Goal Attainment Scales for individual students.  A classroom observation checklist is also utilized to determine needs and monitor progress.  Since its inception, LASARD has worked with many districts throughout the state to develop a network of Alumni District to sustain programming and provide models for other districts.  LASARD currently provides intensive technical assistance to 10 LEAs and intermittent technical assistance to 10 alumni districts. 

For more information on LASARD, please visit our website at