Special Education


Autism is a profound developmental disability that can severely impair a child’s abilities. Students with autism have unique abilities and needs which require special considerations in designing, implementing and evaluating their educational programs. Educators need a better understanding of the educational approaches and program structures that are effective for these students.

The prevalence of autism has been steadily increasing, from 3,443 school-age students identified with autism in 1995 to 5,142 in 1998. This increase may be due to a number of factors, including but not limited to better diagnostic procedures and earlier diagnosis and greater awareness of the autism disorders.

While much is now known about autism and the benefits of early diagnosis and appropriate education, widespread practice of effective educational interventions has yet to follow. In New York State, significant efforts are being made to address the unique needs of children with autism.

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The 2011 IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Researchexternal link, as updated by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)external link and the Office of Autism Research Coordinationexternal link (OARC), provides a blueprint for autism research. Designed to advise the Department of Health and Human Services, the plan summarizes what has recently been learned about autism spectrum disorders, what gap areas have emerged, and what progress is being made in fulfilling the objectives.

Autism Training Providers

Regional Centers for Autism Spectrum Disorders external link

Last Updated: September 25, 2019