Autistic children are an important part of the school
population with special learning and care needs. Autism in schools is dealt with
in a number of ways, often depending on the severity of the autistic child's
symptoms. There are some autistic children who are able to take normal classes
with a little extra help or watch, and other autistic children cannot function
in a normal social learning environment. Autistic children have just as much of
a right to public education that is suited toward their needs as any other
children. It is important to understand how we currently deal with autism in
Individuals With Disabilities Act On Autism In
The Individuals With Disabilities Act was recently
passed to strengthen and expand the rights of all children to a suitable
education, free of charge. It is now unequivocally required that children with
special needs get an education to meet those needs. Special instruction for
autism in schools would fall under this category.
Under this act it is also necessary that children are
placed in the least restrictive learning environment suitable for them. In other
words, when dealing with autism in schools we can no longer group all of the
autistic or disabled children together in one room all day. We must make proper
assessments of each child's abilities and allow them to integrate with regular
school children as much as possible.
IEPs For Autism In Schools
Assessments can be requested by either the parents or
school officials. In many cases the legal guardian of the autistic child must
sign a permission form to allow the assessments. These assessments are typically
centered on learning disabilities, mental capacities, and behavioral issues.
Typically an assessment specialist from the school will schedule a follow up
with you after the assessment is completed to recommend a program customized to
help your child deal with autism in school environments and to learn to function
as much as possible in a normal learning environment.
Your child's program is called an IEP. It is assembled
by those in charge of each aspect of the child's evaluation. As a guardian of
the autistic child you can also have significant input in the IEP. The IEP
essentially includes the special needs of the child and how they will be dealt
with. IEPs are of course tailored specifically to the needs of each child. The
IEP may be re-evaluated either annually or at the request of the guardian.
As the guardian of an autistic child it is up to you to
make sure that autism in schools in your area is properly assessed and proper
plans are made for helping your child. While all schools are required to provide
these services, you are the only one who can assure that they are properly
provided to your child. You have the right to question and get a reasonable and
complete explanation of the IEP made for your autistic