Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism spectrum disorders are neurological and thus medical disorders. Nonetheless, while early identification and diagnosis of autism is considered to be the work of the health care provider, delivering treatment is largely in the hands of public educators. School districts across the country are responsible for the interventions necessary to address the core social, communication and behavioral challenges of affected students. At age three (and younger in more progressive systems) a child identified with autism or any other developmental disability may be assessed and served in a preschool level public education program.
The Current Role of Education
Public school systems are the major provider of services to children with autism, as a part of providing "free and appropriate education" to every student, no matter what their disability. As the number of children with autism in this country multiples exponentially, so does the complexity of this task.
Northwest Autism Center works to strengthen education for children with autism, by providing autism information, training and support to school districts across our region. We operate Domino Project, an intensive early intervention program on the campus of Eastern Washington University that also serves as a learning center for students and area professionals. We work with parents as they take on their role as advocates for and experts in determining their children's needs.
Moreover, we support essential changes to the current systems of care, and a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to services that is evidence-based and employs best practices in the field. Such a system would truly provide students with autism spectrum disorder real opportunities for education.
On this page, look for current issues in education, including implementation of best practices, ideas for teachers, IEPS, Special Education Law, and more...