Academic Profile Series

understanding a child's IEP

Determine Your Child’s Grade Level Accurately

The Lighthouse Learning and Development Centre understands that not all children who have an Autism diagnosis require a specialized school setting. There are a large number of children on the spectrum who are quite capable of achieving full success while integrated in a public school setting. Unfortunately for children with Autism, it isn’t that simple; there needs to be proper assessments completed, team meetings, modifications, accommodations and ongoing school support to ensure that success is possible.

For parents, most of whom do not hold a degree in education, these terms, meetings and processes can be quite daunting. The process in the public school system typically begins with an Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) meeting.  This meeting is for the school to identify the student as exceptional, which then leads to the development of the Individualized Education Program (IEP).  The principals are required to develop an IEP within 30 days of the students’ placement in the special education program. Participation by parents in these meetings is welcomed and encouraged. However, many parents feel very overwhelmed and uncertain about their own role in the development of the IEP, and may not feel confident in the results provided by the school.

The Solution: Academic Profile Series

The Lighthouse Academic Profile Series are academic assessments that determine exactly what grade level a child is working at in Reading (we provide the guiding reading level), Writing and Math.

Our Education Coordinator Melissa Di Giacomo conducts all of these assessments and reviews the reports with the families.  These assessments are not meant to replace the IEP that is created in the school, but rather to give parents the tools to ensure that their child is being programmed for appropriately.

Through our new student intakes for the 2015/2016 school year we have found a discrepancy between the levels the parents have been advised their child is working at, and their true academic ability. Our assessments give parents a clear view of what their child’s capabilities are, which in turn gives parents the knowledge to advocate for their child more successfully. The Academic Profile Series is offered on three different levels, and is available to any child (even if they are not attending the Lighthouse school program):

  1. Basic Academic Profile
  2. Comprehensive Academic Profile
  3. Comprehensive Academic Profile with support

This Academic Profile Series was designed to assist parents with the IEP process and to ensure that children are being challenged enough to allow for academic success. For more information or to register for one of the assessments, contact Serena Thompson at 905-726-6666 ext. 200 or email

Yes, our children with Autism have individual learning barriers, but they are NOT incapable of learning

Pin It on Pinterest

Lighthouse Learning & Development Centre - Melissa Di GiacomoMelissa Di Giacomo brings a wealth of education and experience to her role as Education Coordinator at the Lighthouse Learning and Development Centre.   Melissa has over 10 years of experience in the field of Autism.


She has a BA with Honours in Psychology from York University, a Bachelor of Education from York University, and a diploma in Autism and Behavioural Sciences from Seneca College.   In addition to her extensive education she has practical experience working with children with Autism both at the world-renowned Geneva Centre for Autism and Surrey Place in Toronto.


Melissa also has experience as an Instructor Therapist in the private world of IBI therapy; her hands on experience working with the Toronto District School Board compliment all of this.