When you have a child with a disability, it may seem that you’ve been dropped in the middle of a whirlwind of information and buzzwords. You’ll hear things such as inclusion, behavior modification, functional analysis, IDEA, IEP, due process, evaluation and sensory integration. There are lengthy federal regulations that need to be read and understood, and disability magazines filled with one view or another about controversial issues. Some of the decisions you’ll need to make may come from areas where you don’t feel adequately informed. Of these important decisions, many will be in the area of education.
Educating children with autism is a challenge for both parents and teachers. These children are individuals first and foremost with unique strengths and weaknesses. Some may be of average to above-average intelligence, while others may be below average. Academic goals need to be tailored to that individual’s intellectual ability and functioning level.