Autism Spectrum Disorder

Students who have an autism spectrum disorder may qualify for special education services under one the following disability categories.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act definition:

Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

    Autism does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance.
    or

Emotional disturbance means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:

  • An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
  • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
  • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
  • A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
  • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
    or

Other health impairment means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that—

  • Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and
  • Adversely affects a child’s educational performance

Also see Section 504 information.

Boy waiting his turn during a Kansas City FEW.

Other Resources

Erik Warren lives with autism and guidance from his family, found a true gift to help him deal with his compulsions

Autism at 16

Autism Parent Guide: Information for Parents of School-Age Children

Autism Parent Guide: Information for Parents of Toddlers and Preschoolers

Adult Autism & Employment

Autism Spectrum Disorder Fact Sheets

All Things Autism

Autism Awareness & Home Safety

Autism Now

Autism Plus Wandering: A Dangerous Combination

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit

Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome Guide For Teachers

Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit

Autism Society of America

Autism Spectrum Disorders Tip Sheet

Autism/Asperger Sorting It Out

Autism Center-Tips for Daily Family Life

Autism Tip Sheet for Librarians

An author & gifted woman who has autism: Donna Williams

Behaviors: Personal Challenges for Student with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Dental Tool Kit

Doug Flutie Foundation

Especially for Grandparents of Children With Asperger Syndrome

Educating Children with Autism

Fact Sheet for the Classroom: Asperger Syndrome

Fact Sheet for the Classroom: PDD & Autism Spectrum Disorders

From One Dad to Another A Father’s Day Message

Families for Early Autism Treatment

Interactive Autism Network (IAN) Research

It [is] hard to imagine any autistic child who would not qualify for extended school year services

National Autism Society announce the launch of All Access Computer Project

On Fathers and Autism

Police and Autism Avoiding Unfortunate Situations

Professional Development in Autism (PDA) Center

School Community Tool Kit

Spirit of Autism, LLC Autism Training for Emergency Responders

Suggestions for IEP goals for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Supporting Students with Asperger Syndrome in General Education

Teaching the Person With Autism HOW to DRIVE

Tips for Successful Haircuts

Transition Tool Kit

Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

The Who, What and How of the Paraprofessionals: Using these Instructional Supports Effectively


The contents of this Families Together, Inc.'s website were developed under grants from the US Department of Education (#H328M150027) and the Department of Health and Human Services (H84MC09487). However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Departments of Education or Health and Human Services, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government Project Officers, Kristen Rhoads or LaQuanta Smalley.