Eligibility for special education services requires a condition and an educational need that necessitate services which only special education can offer for a student to access a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE.)
Autism is another of those conditions. A child meets the criteria (Texas Administrative Code § 89.1040 c 1 i) based on the following:
- “Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal communication, nonverbal communication, and social interaction.”
- Characteristics are generally evident before age three.
- Pervasive Developmental Disorders are included in this category.
- If a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because he or she has an Emotional Disturbance, that student is not deemed eligible for services based on the Autism eligibility label.
- Additional characteristics often associated with autism include
♦ Engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements
♦ Resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines
♦ Unusual responses to sensory experiences
For more information:
- The Warren Center in Richardson, Texas
- Autism Speaks
- Autism Society of America- Texas branch
- Life Path