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Educating Children With Autism by Committee On Educational Interventions For Children With Autism

Executive Summary

Autistic spectrum disorders are present from birth or very early in development and affect essential human behaviors such as social interaction, the ability to communicate ideas and feelings, imagination, and the establishment of relationships with others. Although precise neurobiological mechanisms have not yet been established, it is clear that autistic spectrum disorders reflect the operation of factors in the developing brain. Autistic disorders are unique in their pattern of deficits and areas of relative strengths. They generally have lifelong effects on how children learn to be social beings, to take care of themselves, and to participate in the community. The autism spectrum occurs along with mental retardation and language disorder in many cases. Thus, educational planning must address both the needs typically associated with autistic disorders and needs associated with accompanying disabilities.

Education, both directly of children, and of parents and teachers, is currently the primary form of treatment for autistic spectrum disorders. The education of children with autistic disorders was accepted as a public responsibility under the Education of All Handicapped Children Act in 1975. Despite the federal mandate, however, the goals, methods and resources available vary considerably from state to state and school system to school system. In the last few years, due to a confluence of factors, courts have become increasingly active in determining the methods and resources allocated by school systems for the education of young children with autistic spectrum disorders.

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 No. 405
 Posted on 9 June, 2006
 
 
 
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