ASD and the Educational (School) System

The school system is not always geared to deal with the special needs and apply the special modalities required in the management of an autistic child or children with ASD. That includes lack of specific experience, the unavailability of ABA or proper behavioral modification programs.

In many circumstances, children with ASD are placed with a bulk of kids who have a speech delay for other reasons including mental retardation or hearing loss. Services may be unavailable in some areas. In our area, however, more and more institutions are specifically geared to deal with ASD and parents must educate themselves with regards to where a child may be placed. In some circumstances, improvements may be observed due to an excellent interaction between a child and a therapist regardless of the specialization of the school. My general guideline is to try to find the highest functioning environment into which the child may fit and enhance his abilities with extra speech therapy and, of course, behavior modification. In the future, as more awareness, resources, and knowledge are directed toward ASD, more choices and management modalities will become available.