PBES Autism Program


PBES is once again honored to be among the seven elementary schools selected as an Autism Program Site in the Prince George's County Public School (PGCPS) System.  PGCPS's Autism Programs provide specialized services to dynamic, thoughtful and insightful young students who are among our community's and nation's most vulnerable yet promising population.

What Is Autism?

According to the Autism Society, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes. Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills’ and sensory sensitivities. Again, a person on the spectrum might follow many of these behaviors or just a few, or many others besides. The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applied based on analysis of all behaviors and their severity.

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report. The report concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States – nearly twice as great as the 2004 rate of 1 in 125 – and almost 1 in 54 boys. The spotlight shining on autism as a result has opened opportunities for the nation to consider how to serve families facing a lifetime of supports for their children. In June 2014, researchers estimated the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism is as great as $2.4 million. The Autism Society estimates that the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism. (This figure includes research, insurance costs and non-covered expenses, Medicaid waivers for autism, educational spending, housing, transportation, employment, related therapeutic services and caregiver costs.)

Know the signs: Early identification can change lives

Autism is treatable. Children do not “outgrow” autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes. For more information on developmental milestones, visit the CDC’s “Know the Signs. Act Early” site.


  • Lack of or delay in spoken language
  • Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Lack of interest in peer relationships
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • Persistent fixation on parts of objects

PBES Services

  • Conduct Assessments & Evaluations
  • Create individually designed plans of instruction
  • Implement PGCPS Support Programs
  • Provide Related Services such as Audiology, Occupational and Physical Therapy and Speech Language Pathology

PGCPS Support Programs and Related Services address specific student needs through the use of  pre-referral consultations, assessments, interventions and/or supports to school teams for program planning and training. Support Programs and Related Services can provide strategies, accommodations, and technical support as well as monitoring and maintenance of any equipment to enhance the student’s ability to access and participate in his/her educational program.

In addition to individualized instruction and adaptation of the general education curriculum, PBES offers:
1. Adapted Physical Education (APE)
2. Occupational Therapy (OT)
3. Physical Therapy (PT)
4. Speech services
5. ESOL (for dually recognized special education and English language learners) 

PBES Autism Progam & Chinese Language/Content Instruction

Coming Soon...

September 19, 2017

PBES Autism Student Sings in Chinese

Here is an adorable home video of a 1st grade PBES Autism student singing in Chinese after only TWO WEEKS of school at Paint Branch Elementary!  According to his parents, he had not received any Chinese language instruction before he transferred to PBES in September 2017!  His teacher says that he LOVES the 30 minutes of Chinese language instruction that he receives twice a week with his classmates in their self-contained classroom environment. WOW, truly amazing...Our PBES teachers and students are AWESOME!

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Resources

Autism Society

What Is Autism?

¿Qué es Autismo?

Autism Speaks

Additional Resources Coming Soon...

Join our PTA #LightItUpBlue Challenge for Autism!

DONATE $10...AND Ask 10 people to DONATE $10 to PBES PTA!

Make your secure tax-deductible DONATIONS HERE:

Digitally generated Autism awareness design vector

♥PBES Autism Program Gallery Of Pictures♥


April 23, 2019

Meet Teacher of the Year nominee Chloe Hill, Autism Chair and teacher at Paint Branch Elementary! 

"Nothing can explain the joy I receive from daily interactions with my students. It takes a special heart to work with students, especially those with disabilities."

Visit ⇒PGCPS Teacher of the Year 2019

Ms Chloe Hill - PGCPS TOTY

April 3, 2019

Paint Branch Elementary School & PGCPS Department of Special Education visit Kenmoor Middle School!

On April 3, 2019, Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) Department of Special Education Administration and Paint Branch Elementary School (PBES) Staff & PTA Members visited Kenmoor Middle School (KMS) to tour the state-of-the-art sensory room created for their Autism students, and learn more about their unique and AWESOME Autism Program for middle school students (grades 6th - 8th).  Pictured above, the group is standing in front of a BEE-utiful quilt made by Kenmoor Middle School Autism students and staff for Autism Awareness Month 2019!

View ⇒2019 PBES Autism Awareness Month Gallery of Pictures


(pictured l-r: Bernardette Woodbury, KMS Special Education Chair; Avery Massey, PBES PTA President; Dominique Bivins, PBES Special Education Chair; Chloe Hill, PBES Autism Chair; Peggy Besanko, PGCPS Assistant Supervisor, Autism Programs K-12; _________,KMS Lead Special Education Teacher; Trinell Bowman, PGCPS Executive Director of Special Education; Maha Fadli, KMS Principal)

April 2, 2019

PBES Autism Awareness Month

Paint Branch Elementary School celebrates Autism Awareness and "Lights It Up BLUE" on National Autism Awareness Day and throughout the month of April!

View ⇒2019 PBES Autism Awareness Month Gallery of Pictures


February 2019

PBES PTA Autism T-shirt Fundraiser

We want to thank everyone for your amazing support of our PTA's two-week fundraiser for our PBES Autism Program!  Here are the final numbers:

2019 PBES PTA Autism T-shirt Fundraiser (Final Totals)
Shirts Sold - 189 (92 Youth / 97 Adult)
Total Amount Collected: $1,948 ($1,734 in payments; $214 donations)
Total Amount Paid to T-shirt Vendor: $838.50
Total Amount of Proceeds: $1,109.50
PBES Autism Program - $800
PBES PTA - $309.50
Once again, we want to send a special thanks to Dan Hopkins Designs - the original creator of this powerful image/artwork on our t-shirts and backpacks.
*Dr. Hairston will allow students (and staff) to wear their Autism T-shirts to school (with uniform pants or skirt) on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 (World Autism Awareness Day) to spread awareness about Autism, and in support of our PBES Autism Program.
During the month of April, our PTA will highlight everyone wearing their Autism T-shirts on our PTA website and social media beginning April 2nd - so please take pictures in any Autism T-shirt that you have (or wearing Blue in support of Autism) and send them to us at:[email protected]!  Also, you can tag us on Facebook (PaintBranchElementarySchoolPta) or Twitter (@PaintBranchPTA) using (#PBESAutism)!
PBES PTA supports our PBES Autism Program and seeks to increase Autism Awareness...every day of every year.  CLICK HERE to ⇒DONATE  ANY AMOUNT to our PTA in support of our PBES Autism Program!  Thank you for your continued support!

(click pictures to enlarge - more pictures coming soon!)

June 14, 2018

PBES PTA gifts PBES Autism students with backpacks and emoji key chains

PBES PTA gifted more than 60 students in the PBES Autism Program with custom-made drawstring backpacks bearing our school's name and meaningful artwork, along with super-cool emoji key chains!  PBES families can proudly carry their "Paint Branch Elementary School Autism" backpacks with beautiful artwork containing wonderful words that describe our phenomenal children!  PBES PTA congratulates each student for completing another school year, and for a job well done!

We want to send a special thanks to Dan Hopkins Designs - the original creator of this powerful image/artwork & backpack; and Bern and Kelly Jordan, for their extremely generous contribution to our PTA Autism Program budget, which comprised more than half of the cost of the backpacks.

PBES PTA supports our PBES Autism Program and seeks to increase Autism Awareness...every day of every year.  CLICK HERE to ⇒DONATE  ANY AMOUNT to our PTA in support of our PBES Autism Program!  Thank you for your continued support!

(click pictures to enlarge)

April 10, 2018

PBES Staff & Students Support Autism Awareness Month

Upon returning from Spring Break, PBES Staff and Students #LightItUpBlue for Autism Awareness Month!

PBES PTA supports our PBES Autism Program and seeks to increase Autism Awareness...every day of every year.  CLICK HERE to ⇒DONATE  ANY AMOUNT to our PTA in support of our PBES Autism Program!  Thank you for your continued support!

(click pictures to enlarge)

March - April 2018

Autism Awareness Fundraiser

During the months of March and April, PBES PTA is selling Treat Boxes to raise money for our PBES Autism Program!  PBES PTA will donate 50% of all money raised to our PBES Autism Program to support our students and  staff.  Our PTA Treat Boxes are stuffed with wonderful snacks and delicious goodies!  We're selling them for $5 each - and we're also accepting donations in any amount.  Thank you for your support!

(click pictures to enlarge)

March - April 2018

PBES Arts Integration

All PBES Students demonstrate understanding of other academic disciplines through their artwork.  Check out some of the artwork from our Autism students!  Have you ever seen plants growing without soil from a bulletin board?  PBES students are AMAZING!!! #PBESartsintegration #growyourawareness #springintoart #welcomesunnydays #BEEagoodfriend #underseacollage #creativity #collaboration #criticalthinking #communication #globalunderstanding

(click pictures to enlarge)

⇒AWESOME VIDEO ALERT: This young aspiring chef based in Maryland proves that having Autism does not have to get in the way of your dreams!

Published By: Jeremiah Josey (Jeremiah's Cooking Adventures) on July 25, 2018

⇒AWESOME VIDEO ALERT: PBES PTA is working to help the PBES Autism Program acquire a Sensory Room for our students.  Here's a fantastic example of what we want to achieve:


Published By: (Edutopia) on May 3, 2017

Imagine a safe space where students with autism can go to calm their bodies and then get back to the business of learning.


Shop at our NEW PTA Online Store:

Busy Bees Café


Support our Autism Awareness Program - Get your PTA Autism Drawstring Backpack Today!

Autism T-shirts are SOLD OUT!


Autism Shirt (2) - white with PBES

The PBES Autism Program's PTA site is currently under construction.  Please come back later!

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