The Chase Academy - Innovative Education for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders"


Originating in the 1980’s, Person-centered Planning or PCP was developed by Mount and Zwernick(1988) to assist young adults who had severe disabilities in becoming more independent and involved in planning their futures. The emphasis is on using existing social supports available to every citizen to achieve life goals as opposed to focusing on the services offered specifically for those with disabilities (Callicot, 2003).

Within this plan, goals and objectives cross all domains essential to one’s future with five essential outcomes:

Unlike the traditional IEP which focuses solely on acquisition of academic and behavioral goals as they apply to the classroom, Person-centered Planning is used to obtain family priorities for skills to be addressed throughout the school year. Described as, “an ongoing process used to gather information about the hopes and dreams of an individual to be used in the development of short and long-term goals (Held, Thoma, & Thomas, 2004), this planning system takes family expectations into account when determining objectives (Hall, 2009).

The basic tenet of this type of planning is to involve the student in a meaningful (and age-appropriate) level of planning for his or her future. It has been proven to be an effective way of increasing student and family participation in the selection and design of social and educational services. Student strengths may be shaped and developed into future vocational options, and educators can use the student’s strengths and interests when designing the curriculum in order to develop weaker skills.

The process involves a skilled facilitator who addresses the areas of:

This process has the expressed purpose of envisioning a future based on the desires of the student (Callicot, 2003).

Callicot, K.J. (2003, Spring). Culturally Sensitive Collaboration Within Person-centered Planning. Focus
          on Autism And Other Developmental Disabilities
, 18(1), 60-68.

Hall, L.J. (2009). Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Theory to Practice. Upper Saddle River,