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Helping Students with Autism

Autism is a developmental disability considered the result of a neurological condition that affects brain function. According to the Autism Society of America, there are 1.5 million people living with autism in the United States. Students with autism find it difficult to relate to other people in a meaningful way. Students may show restrictive and/or repetitive patterns of behavior or body movements, and often have some degree of intellectual disability. While great strides are being made, there is no single known cause or cure, nor a known singular effective treatment for every individual with autism.

Autism is one of the educational eligibility categories for special education. Individualized Educational Program teams can deem children eligible for special education services under the category of autism.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, as many as one in 150 children have an autism spectrum disorder. The use of the term "spectrum disorder" implies that no two individuals with autism are alike. Autism Spectrum Disorder is defined by challenges in three areas: social, communication and restrictive/repetitive behavior. Autism Spectrum Disorders usually become evident within the first three years of life. Autism Spectrum Disorders occur four times more often in boys than in girls.

Definitions of Common Terminology

Common Characteristics in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders



This content was written by Easter Seals in Collaboration with the AFT.

Easter Seals Easter Seals provides exceptional services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with autism and other disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities. For more than 90 years Easter Seals has been supporting individuals with disabilities and their families live better lives. Easter Seals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life's challenges and achieve personal goals.