Autism and Public School Accommodations David Tanner
What is autism?Autism is a developmental disability that impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Autism isdifficult thing to understand. One person with autism may have different symptoms and behavioral characteristics than another. Because of these vast differences, doctors now think of autism as a "spectrum" disorder. In other words, a group of disorders with a range of similar features. Because of this, autism is now often called autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Many people with autism are visual thinkers and must be taught and accommodate in special ways. They think in pictures and not language. Pictures are their first language while words are their second language. Nouns are the easiest words to learn because they can make a picture in their mind of the word.
Prevalence Autism occurs in 4.5 out of 10,000 live births. Affects 1 in 150 children in the U.S.Autism has been estimated to affect as high as 1/4 % to 1/2% of the population.Courtesy of Autistic Society
According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) enacted by Congress in 1975, children with disabilities have the opportunity to receive a free appropriate public education, just like other children, but public education budgets are not prepared to fulfill the promises made by IDEA with autism rates on the rise. The law has been revised many times over the years. On December 3, 2004, President Bush reauthorized it by signing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. The President stated, "The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 will help children learn better by promoting accountability for results, enhancing parent involvement, using proven practices and materials, providing more flexibility, and reducing paperwork burdens for teachers, states and local school districts." Courtesy of New York State Department of Education
The Needs of Public SchoolsPublic school systems are a behind. Currently there are not major autistic programs that are commonly found in public schools across the country. Instead of specific programs, the teachers and staff aim to work with the parents and child individually, while striving to incorporate the child into the daily activities of the standard classroom. On the other hand, public schools do have other specialized programs for autism. While any given setting may be perfect for any given child, every child with autism has different needs.
Concerned parents are asking for more than just the basics when it comes to their child’s education. They want intensive, expensive services that offer the best chance to rescue their child from a lifetime of disability. There are too few qualified teachers to educate children with autism because they hold the required “moderate to severe” special education credentials. Courtesy of Asimov, N. and Chen, G.
Video ClipsThe Face of Autism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7kHSOgauhgPlaying With Toys: Real Look Autismhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-c50HNnPg0
Recent Developments Because of the rapid rise in autistic cases inrecent years, scientists and researchers are still debating the causes and treatments for individuals dealing with this condition. If a child is diagnosed with autism, the best plan for success is for the parents to meet withthe child’s doctor, and receive a referral to a highly recommended specialist in the field. Again, in using a specialist, an individualizedplan can be established to make the pathwayto success as uniquely supportive as possible.
Referencesandwhatsnext. (2005).The Face of Autism [video]. Retrieved March 8, 2012 fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7kHSOgauhgAsimov, Nancy. (2008, July 13). State’s School Lack Cohesive Plan for Autism.Assessed February 24, 2012, from http://www.sfgate.com/cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/12/BAFH103EEM.DTL&ap=all.Autistic Society. Autism. Accessed February 24, 2012 fromhttp://www.autisticsociety.org. Chen, Grace. (2008, July 11). Autistic Children and Public Schools. Accessed February 23, 2012 from http://www.publicschoolreview.com/article/33. New York State Education Department. Special Education: Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. Accessed February 23, 2012, fromhttp://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/idea/.reallookautism. (2011). Playing With Toys: Real Look Autism [video]. Retrieved March 8,2012 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-c50HNnPg0