In 2008, the United Nations declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day. Since then, people and organizations around the world have used this day to build awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and the growing number of children diagnosed with autism.
As April 2 is nearly upon us, we’d like to encourage our readers to learn more about autism and its impact on the education industry. Consider these facts:
- According to the U.S. Department of Education, 80% of children with autism are in general education classrooms at least once a day.
- New CDC statistics, which show one in 110 children is diagnosed with an ASD, indicate that general education teachers will host more students with autism than ever before.
- There are approximately 500,000 students with autism in U.S. schools today, and over the next three years, it’s estimated that number will grow to more than 1,000,000.
A member of our client family has created an Autism Teacher Capabilities Web site designed specifically for district use, to help administrators create a program that facilitates successful instruction of students with autism. The Web site includes tools to help administrators forecast the number of students in their district likely to be diagnosed with autism, and the cost of educating these students, using information gathered from the company’s own research and analysis. The site also features resources that allow districts to assess their current level of professional development centered on working with students with autism, and lists criteria for evaluating cost-effective training tools for educators. To learn more about these free resources, visit www.AutismPro.com.
The Autism Society of America and Autism Speaks have created events, promotions and other initiatives to support Autism Awareness Month. We encourage everyone to visit www.autism-society.org or www.autismspeaks.org to learn how you can participate in your area.