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An Initiative of National Trust
for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy,
Mental Retardation & Multiple Disabilities
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India
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How can a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder be educated?

The educational needs of children with ASD vary according to their individual capabilities, difficulties, interests and needs. Once the diagnostic assessment is complete, it is highly recommended that the child goes through psycho-educational assessments to get a clear picture of the child’s functional capabilities. This includes psychological tests, educational and developmental tests. A thorough evaluation of the behaviours exhibited by the child will prove very useful in deciding the educational setting and program. Once the tests are complete, the child’s functional profile will reveal the best educational environment that suits the child.

The options that will emerge are:
  • Mainstream schooling with very minimum support for children who are academically appropriate but may have mild difficulties in social interaction.
  • Mainstream schooling with supported learning in an inclusive setting.
  • Mainstream schooling with resource room facilities to address specific learning difficulties.
  • Special schooling integrated with other children with developmental disabilities.
  • Specific autism learning centers for high support needs.
  • Home schooling and individual therapeutic interventions
Parents and the professional’s team together can take a decision on the best suited learning environment. The test results will help in deciding this objectively thus providing education in the least restrictive environment. The child is sure to make progress if the program offers the following:
  • Teacher handling the child is aware about the various aspects of ASD
  • Teacher is willing to make the necessary accommodation within the classroom
  • Parents and teachers are willing to work together to address the child’s difficulties
  • The curriculum prepared for the child is based on the assessments and is addressing his/her specific needs
  • The goals are progressive and ensures the child is moving ahead constantly
  • The curriculum has inbuilt flexibility to try different methods of teaching, opportunities for generalization and treads toward independent functioning.
  • The curriculum provides opportunities for inclusion into various community settings.
  • The curriculum is holistic and exposes the child to a variety of activities of the overall development of the child.
What government laws support education?

In line with the goal of nation building, India has been committed to providing free and compulsory education to all children. Towards this end, Indian Parliament has enacted a legislation making free and compulsory education (RTE) a Right of every child in the age group 6-14 years which has come into force from 1st April, 2010.

The Rajya Sabha in the month April 2012 passed an amendment to the Right to Education Act. The amendment widens the beneficiary net to include disabled children and provide those with severe disability the option of receiving education at home.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All Movement) is a programme by the Government of India aimed at the universalization of elementary education "in a time bound manner", as mandated by the 86th amendment to the Constitution of India making free education to children aged 6–14 (estimated to be 205 million in number in 2001) a fundamental right. The programme was pioneered by AtalBihari Vajpayee. SSA is being implemented in partnership with State Governments to cover the entire country and address the needs of 192 million children in 1.1 million habitations.

The programme is looking to open new schools in those habitations without schooling facilities and to strengthen existing school infrastructure through provision of additional class rooms, toilets, drinking water, maintenance grant and school improvement grants. SSA is now the primary vehicle for implementing the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE).

SSA mentions in section 1 (9.1) Coverage of special focus groups that

SSA will ensure that every child with special needs, irrespective of the kind, category and degree of disability, is provided education in an appropriate environment. SSA will adopt ‘zero rejection’ policy so that no child is left out of the education system.

National Trust, an autonomous body under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment provides support in terms of training Early Interventionists and Caregivers. They also support awareness campaigns, networking and knowledge workshops for teachers.
  Autism Spectrum Disorders or ASD is commonly called Autism Neuro- typical: A term used for people who do not have Autism or ASD  
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