Educating Children with Autism

Like politics, all education is local. From the moment your child is diagnosed with autism, you the parent immediately become your child’s primary advocate. Not long after you make your initial treatment decisions, you will be facing equally difficult challenges about your child’s education. The transient nature of military duty can exacerbate these challenges as duty takes the family to new duty stations and school jurisdictions.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The IDEA legislation guarantees that all students with disabilities will be provided a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). It also states that students with disabilities should be placed in the least restrictive environment (LRE), meaning that children with disabilities should be educated with children who are not disabled as much as possible. Finally, it states that students with disabilities must have an IEP, which describes the student’s current level of functioning, his or her goals for the year, and how these goals will be supported through special services.

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

The IEP contains information about the student's strengths and needs, as well as goals and objectives based on these areas of need. Regular monitoring of student progress not only helps to evaluate whether the student is making progress toward these identified goals, but also helps the teacher to examine the effectiveness of the curriculum and the strategies used to teach the student.

Finding the Right School

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best school for your child. These considerations increase and change significantly when your child has autism. This section contains different types of school search engines to help you find the best fit for your child.