Working With Your Child's School
Start by speaking with your child's teacher, school counselor, or the school's student support team to begin an evaluation. Each state has a Parent Training and Information Center and a Protection and Advocacy Agency that can help you get an evaluation. A team of professionals conducts the evaluation using a variety of tools and measures. The evaluation will look at all areas related to your child's abilities and needs.
Once your child has been evaluated, he or she has several options, depending on the specific needs. If your child needs special education services and is eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the school district (or the government agency administering the program) must develop an individualized education plan, or IEP specifically for your child within 30 days.
IDEA provides free screenings and early intervention services to children from birth to age 3. IDEA also provides special education and related services from ages 3 to 21. Information is available from the U.S. Department of Education.
If your child is not eligible for special education services—not all children with ASD are eligible—he or she can still get free public education suited to his or her needs, which is available to all public-school children with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, regardless of the type or severity of the disability.
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights enforces Section 504 in programs and activities that receive Federal education funds. More information on Section 504 is available on the Department of Education website.
For the complete report and citations in English and in Spanish please visit the following: