Q:

How can you find schools that specialize in autism education?

A:

Quick Answer

Autism Speaks, an awareness and advocacy organization, provides a resource guide that includes lists of schools and other services. The guide categorizes schools by state.

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Full Answer

The Autism Speaks resource guide lists schools for preschool children and for individuals ages 5 to 22. Lists of both non-public day schools and residential schools are available. Autism Speaks keeps this list current as a service to families. Autism Speaks does not necessarily endorse the schools and services it lists.

The Autism Speaks resource guide does not list public schools; however, every public school student with a diagnosed disability, including autism, must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP is developed with input from teachers, parents, and a person qualified to facilitate or supervise the provision of special education. While these are federally mandated services for public school children in the United States, a survey conducted by Autism Speaks found that of those dissatisfied with the educational services available to their children, 57 percent said that their children did not receive appropriate educational services and often had to fight to obtain support.

Appropriate guidance and discipline practices for students with Autism in public schools is also a concern. The Autism National Committee published a report called “How Safe is the Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies.” This report highlights the laws in each state for the use of restraint and seclusion as disciplinary measures for children with disabilities.

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