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Local autism plan is sought

May 12, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — To Special Education Director Michael Meyer, the issue of autism is one the district needs to address rapidly.

Specifically, he told Tuesday's School Committee meeting he wants to create a new in-house "life skills" program at the high school and rearrange programs at other levels. He estimated doing so could cost around $125,000, but ultimately would save the district money it now spends to send student to the regional collaborative.

"We're trying to be responsible to the kids," Meyer said afterward. "We can offer them an excellent program here."

But the committee was wary, citing numerous "new" programs it has seen in recent years.

"We have seen snake oil salesmen come through here like you can't believe," said vice-chair David DiGregorio, arguing Meyer's proposal needs to go through much more thorough review.

Member Scott Lazo agreed, noting he wants to make sure anything new both saves money and provides better service to the students than simply having them go to the

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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