Autism Spectrum Disorders

Continuum and Eligibility

A student may receive a medical diagnosis of Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder.   Understanding the new DSM- V video. 


Students diagnosed with Autism may benefit from special education services.  Students are served in the general education class (regular continuum), partially in the exceptional children classroom (resource continuum) or with non-disabled peers less than 39% of the day (separate continuum).  Not all students diagnosed with autism require special education services.  Students with Autism can be placed with other students with other disabilities depending on the curriculum and adaptive needs.  CCS students in separate settings are served in classrooms such as Serious Emotional Disabilities, Autism, Intellectually Disabled mild, moderate or severe.

The educational eligibility for special education is defined by the NC Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities

A full and individualized evaluation of a child’s needs must be conducted before any action is taken with respect to determining eligibility for special education. Required screenings and evaluation to determine eligibility for Autism Spectrum Disorder are:

 (A) Hearing screening

(B) Vision screening

(C) Observation across settings, to assess academic and functional skills

(D) Summary of conference(s) with parents or documentation of attempts to conference with parents

(E) Social/developmental history

(F) Educational evaluation

(G) Adaptive behavior evaluation

(H) Psychological evaluation

(I) Speech-language evaluation which includes, but is not limited to, measures of language semantics and pragmatics

(J) An assessment using an appropriate behavior rating tool or an alternative assessment instrument that identifies characteristics associated with autism spectrum disorder.

A student diagnosed with Autism can be eligible for services in different eligibility areas such as Other Health Impaired, Serious Emotional Disabilities, Specific Learning Disabled or Autism Spectrum Disorder. To be determined eligible in the disability category of autism, a child must demonstrate at least three of the four characteristics listed below:

(A) Impairment in communication

(B) Impairment in social interaction

(C) Unusual response to sensory experiences

(D) Restricted, repetitive, or stereotypic patterns of behavior, interests

After evaluations the placement decision:

(1) Is made by the IEP Team, which includes the parents and other persons knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options

(2) Conforms to LRE requirements;

(b) The child’s placement on the continuum

(1) Is determined at least annually; and

(2) Is based on the child’s IEP

 The child is educated in the school that he or she would attend if nondisabled; and If the child cannot be educated in the school he orImage of Autism Serving Students Logo she would attend if nondisabled, the child is educated as close to the child’s home as possible.  In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs; and a child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general education curriculum.

Published by Shonda Virgil on June 28, 2018

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