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SNAPS Preschool Program

Intensive Instruction Program - Early Childhood Special Education

The SNAPS program is designed to supplement the Lake Washington School District (LWSD) preschool program and better meet the needs of students with autism and their families. SNAPS is modeled after the University of Washington’s Project DATA. This program is designed to meet the unique needs of students with autism by blending evidence-based early childhood, early childhood special education, and behavioral approaches to educate and support children with autism and their families. It is an intensive, early intervention program. It involves extensive evaluation, planning, and progress-monitoring to help better prepare children for kindergarten entry.

What is SNAPS?

SNAPS (Students Needing Additional Programming Support) is a special education program serving eligible preschool students ages 3 to 5 with a primary diagnosis of autism.

This program is defined by a low student-to-instructor ratio, integrating peer pairings for social learning while providing 20+ hours a week of individualized intensive instruction.

The SNAPS classroom is a highly structured environment resulting in a predictable daily routine with individualized learning objectives emphasizing functional communication, social interactions, self-management, play skills, imitation, engagement, functional behavior, and generalization of learned skills.

Instruction is delivered using a combination of evidence-based practices including discrete teaching, naturalistic teaching procedures, and structured teaching approaches.

Is my child eligible for SNAPS?

Steps to placement in SNAPS for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  1. Student is seen by the evaluation team and standard assessments completed to determine current levels.
  2. Student placement in a Learning Center class or Ready Start preschool class. During the first four to six weeks after placement, the SNAPS Coordinator will come out to observe your child and will call you to discuss the observation.
  3. The Individual Education Plan (IEP) team (consisting of the parents, SNAPS coordinator and special education teacher) will make a recommendation regarding the level of support needed and whether or not a child will benefit from the SNAPS program.
  4. A placement determination will be made as to whether or not the child is able to access all aspects of the preschool program and the level of support that is needed for that child to be successful within the regular curriculum.
  5. Students needing instruction specific to social skills may be eligible for the SNAPS Social Skills Group. This group will meet on Wednesdays. Lessons and activities will promote the following skills: conversational play, friendship management, self-regulation, conflict management, and social knowledge needed to interpret social cues, and then understanding of emotions and empathy.

SNAPS Locations

  • Carson Elementary Preschool - Sammamish
  • Dickinson Elementary Preschool - Redmond
  • Bell Elementary Preschool - Kirkland

Please contact one of the SNAPS coordinators for further information regarding the SNAPS program:

Lake Washington School District
Special Education Department
425-936-1226