(a) The functioning levels of students with autism, based upon the criteria set forth in section 200.6(h)(2) of this Part, shall govern their individual or small group instruction.
(1) The continuum of special education programs and services as described in section 200.6 of this Part shall be available to students with autism as needed.
(2) The chronological age range of instructional groups serving students with autism shall not exceed 36 months for students under age 16 and shall not be limited for students 16 years of age or older.
(3) The class size for such students shall be determined in accordance with section 200.6(f) and (h) of this Part, provided that the class size of special classrooms composed entirely of students with autism shall be in accordance with section 200.6(h)(4)(ii)(a) of this Part.
(4) Instructional services shall be provided to meet the individual language needs of a student with autism .
(5) To the maximum extent appropriate, instructional provisions shall be instituted for eventual inclusion of students with autism into resource room programs for students with combined disabilities or placement in a regular classroom.
(6) In those instances where a student has been placed in programs containing students with other disabilities, or in a regular class placement, a special education teacher with a background in teaching students with autism shall provide transitional support services in order to assure that the student's special education needs are being met.
(b) The length of the school day for students with autism shall be that set forth in section 175.5 of this Title.
(c) All school districts are required to furnish appropriate educational programs for students with autism from the date they become eligible for a free appropriate public education until they obtain a high school diploma, or until the end of the school year in which they attain their 21st birthday, whichever occurs first.
(d) Provision shall be made for parent counseling and training as defined in section 200.1 (kk) of this Part for the purpose of enabling parents to perform appropriate follow-up intervention activities at home.
(e) Upon application and justification to the commissioner, approval may be granted for variance from special class sizes and the chronological age ranges specified in subdivision (a) of this section.