Educating Students on the Autism Spectrum: Individuals With Disabilities Act (page 2)

— Autism Society
Updated on Jul 28, 2009

Key Elements to Create an Appropriate Educational Environment for Students with ASD

  • A teacher who sets high expectations for the child and who encourages peer interaction and mentoring
    as appropriate.
  • Special and regular educators who collaborate in instruction and who have a sense of ownership in the process
  • Individualized instruction with decisions based on careful collection and analysis of data focused on measurable
    goals and behaviors
  • Special services are brought into the classroom to facilitate generalization and to prevent stigmatization
  • A collaborative team approach -including regular and special educators, school administrators, supplemental school personnel, and parents or guardians -is employed to set goals and to evaluate progress of the IEP
  • An assumption that all children can acquire skills if instruction is modified to help the child succeed
  • Adapting the school environment by extending school hours or the school year and coordinating with home caregivers.


Goldstein, H., & Ferrell, D. (1987). Augmenting communicative interaction between handicapped and non-handicapped preschool children. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 52, 200-122.

Goldstein, H., & Wiskstrom, S. (1986). Peer intervention effects on communicative interaction among handicapped and nonhandicapped preschoolers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 19(2), 209-214.

Grandin, T. (1988). Teaching tips from a recovered autistic. Focus on Autistic Behavior; 1, 1-8.

Gray, C. (1995). Teaching Children with Autism to “Read” Social Situations. In K.A. Quill (Ed.), Teaching Children with Autism: Strategies to Enhance Communication and Socialization (pp. 219-241). Albany, NY:Delmar Publishers.

Gray, C., & Garand, J. (1993). Social stories: Improving responses of students with autism with accurate social information. Focus on Autistic Behavior; 8, 1-10.

Gresham, F. (1982). Misguided mainstreaming: The case for social skills training with handicapped children [abstract]. Exceptional Children, 48.

Harris, S.l. (1994). Siblings of Children with Autism: A Guide for Families. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.

Hodgdon, L.A. (1995). Visual Strategies for Improving J Communication. Troy, MI: QuirkRoberts Publishing.

Siegel, B. (1996). The World of the Autistic Child: Understanding and Treating Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Wagner, S. (1998). Inclusive Programming for Elementary Students with Autism. Atlanta: Emory Autism Resource Center.

Resources for More Information

There are many resources for professionals to utilize for additional information on educating children with autism. Listed below are several of the books, videos, and websites available on this topic.

Helpful Responses to Some of the Behaviors of Individuals with Autism, by Nancy J. Dalrymple, 1992, Indiana
Resource Center for Autism.

Adapting Curriculum & Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms: A Teacher’s Desk Reference, y C. Deschenes, D.G.
Ebeling, & J. Sprague, 1994, ISDD-CSCI.

Thinking in Pictures: And Other Reports from My Life with Autism, by Temple Grandin, 1996, Vintage Books.

The Original Social Story Book, by Carol Gray, 1993, Future Education.

The New Social Stories, by Carol Gray, 1994, Future Education.

Inclusion: 450 Strategies for Success: A Practical Guide for All Educators Who Teach Students with Disabilities, by
Peggy A. Hammeken, 1997, Peytral Publications.

Siblings of Children with Autism: A Guide for Families, by Sandra L. Harris, 1994, Woodbine House. (1995 Literary Achievement Award, Autism Society of America)

Visual Strategies for Improving Communication, by Linda A. Hodgdon, 1995, QuirkRoberts Publishing.

Autism Through the Lifespan: The Eden Model, by David L. Holmes, 1998, Woodbine House. (1998 Literary
Achievement Award, Autism Society of America)

Teaching Children with Autism: Strategies for Initiating Positive Interactions and Improving Learning
Opportunities, edited by Robert L. Koegel and Lynn Kern Koegel, 1996, Paul H Brookes Publishing Co.

The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Integration Dysfunction, by Carol Stock Kranowitz, 1998, Perigee Books.

Behavioral Interventions for Young Children with Autism: A Manual for Parents and Educating Students with Autism
Professionals, edited by Catherine Maurice, Gina Green, and Stephen C. Luce, 1996, Pro Ed.

Children with Autism: A Parents’Guide, edited by Michael D. Powers, 1989, Woodbine House. (1990 Literary Achievement Award, Autism Society of America)

Teaching Children with Autism: Strategies to Enhance Communication and Socialization, edited by Kathleen Ann Quinn, 1995, Delmar Publishers.

How to Reach and Teach All Students in the Inclusive Classroom: Ready-to-Use Strategies, Lessons and Activities for Teaching Students with Diverse Learning Needs, by Sandra F. Rief & Julie A. Heimburge, 1996, The Center for Applied Research in Education.

Social Behavior in Autism (Current Issues in Autism), edited by Eric Schopler & Gary B. Mesibov, 1986, Plenum Publishing Corp.

Learning and Cognition in Autism (Current Issues in Autism), edited by Eric Schopler & Gary B. Mesibov, 1995, Plenum Publishing Corp.

Asperger Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism? (Current Issues in Autism), edited by Eric Schopler, Gary B. Mesibov, & Linda J. Kunce, 1998, Plenum Publishing Corp.

The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child, by Lawrence M. Siegel, 1999, Nolo Press.

Inclusive Programming for Elementary Students with Autism, by Sheila Wagner, 1998, Emory Autism Resource

 A Sense of Belonging: Including Students with Autism in Their School Community (20 minute video), 1997,
Indiana Resource Center for Autism.

Autism: Being Friends (8 minute video), 1991, Indiana Resource Center for Autism.

Breakthroughs: How to Reach Students with Autism (25 minute video), featuring Karen Sewell, awarded “1998 Teacher of the Year,” Autism Society of America, Attainment Productions, 1998, Verona, WI


The Autism Society of America wishes to thank the following professionals for their contributions
to the content of this booklet:

  • Margaret Creedon, Ph.D., Easter Seal Therapeutic Day School
  • Andrew Egel, Ph.D., Professor of Education, University of Maryland
  • David L. Holmes, Ph.D., President/Executive Director, Eden Family of Services
  • Gary B. Mesibov, Ph.D., Director/Professor, Division TEACCH, University of North Carolina
  • Cathy L. Pratt, Ph.D., Director, Indiana Resource Center for Autism
  • Frank Robbins, Ph.D., Director, Quabbin Valley Educational Consultants
  • Eric Schopler, Ph.D., Founder/Professor, Division TEACCH, University of North Carolina

Autism Society of America 
7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20814-3067

The Autism Society of America. ASA is very grateful to the American Contract Bridge League for
underwriting the original publication of this document in booklet form and other publications
associated with our “Public Awareness of Autism in the Schools” Campaign, 2000-2001. This document
can be found on the web site of the Autism Society of America free for download and duplication.

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