Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a complex group of related disabilities marked by differences in communication and socialization, a limited range of interests, and the presence of repetitive behaviors (NASP, 2010). Students with ASD often include the following characteristic:
- Cognitive. Differences in the development of traditional cognitive skills, with incongruencies between development in processing visual/nonverbal information and rote learning with delays in developing skills in processing verbal information and a difference in the learning and use of abstract information;
- Social skills. Poor development of traditional social skills and rule governed behavior;
- Communication. Differences in responding to quickly presented verbal information, understanding complex commands, and expressing wants and needs;
- Organization/self-direction. Organizational abilities do not conform to traditional classroom practices. Often has difficulty screening out distractions, completing activities independently, initiating work activities, organizing free time, stopping one activity and moving on to the next, being flexible, shifting attention to a new focus.
The Group Autism Speaks
Provides Excellent resources to assist in the Support of Children with ASD, they also provide information and statistics and information about Autism Research.
Here are some of the data and information they have recently collected.
- In 2020, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 54 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to 2016 data.
- 1 in 34 boys identified with autism
- 1 in 144 girls identified with autism
- 31% of children with ASD have an intellectual disability (intelligence quotient [IQ] <70), 25% are in the borderline range (IQ 71–85), and 44% have IQ scores in the average to above average range (i.e., IQ >85).
- Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups, but minority groups tend to be diagnosed later and less often.
- Early intervention affords the best opportunity to support healthy development and deliver benefits across the lifespan.
- There is no medical detection for autism.
Evaluation procedures and assessments like the Vineland 3 continue to assist in the identification of students who need support for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), increasing its prevalence and requiring educators to develop practices that allow them to support more students.
In order to guide our efforts we have worked with Special Educators, surveying them, in order to discover the challenges they are facing in supporting these students.
They indicated that they need more and better trained coworkers, Professional Development and Resources and instructional programs/materials.