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New book outlines how autism is reshaping special education

Dive Brief:

  • School districts have long been asked to give special education students access to an appropriate curriculum, but a new book highlights the more modern call for approaches that lead to academic success.
  • “How Autism is Reshaping Special Education: The Unbundling of IDEA,” by Mark Claypool and John McLaughlin, argues simply ensuring access to education for these students is no longer sufficient. The rise in the number of children with autism has necessitated the need to focus on not only getting students in the door, but positioning them for success, both in school and in the workplace.
  • The book, which will be released this month, details the growth in applied behavior analysis, the birth of social media advocacy and possibilities presented by unbundling.

Dive Insight:

The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act was first passed as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act in 1975. One of its major provisions is the call for educating students in the least restrictive environment possible. Instead of shuttling students with disabilities to subpar school buildings or hiding them away in corners of more comprehensive schools, districts have had to first consider placing students in general education classrooms with supports.

Some schools that have experimented with personalized learning technologies, including Summit Public Schools, have found very little need for sheltered instruction because, with every student going his or her own pace, the supports are present in the general education classroom to meet a wider range of needs.

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