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Autism

10.16.3011 CRITERIA FOR IDENTIFICATION OF STUDENT AS HAVING AUTISM

(1) The student may be identified as having autism if documentation supports the existence of a developmental disability that was generally evident before the student was three years of age and if the student has communication difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction.

(2) Assessments shall document the presence of significant delays in verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction.

(a) Significant delays in verbal communication are manifested by at least one of the following:

(i) delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gesture or mime);

(ii) in students with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others.

(b) Significant delays in nonverbal communication are manifested by a marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye to eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, or gestures to regulate social interaction.

(c) Significant delays in social interaction are manifested by at least one of the following:

(i) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental levels;

(ii) lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., lack of showing, bringing or pointing out objects of interest);

(iii) lack of social or emotional reciprocity;

(iv) lack of varied, spontaneous, make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level.

(3) Other characteristics often associated with autism may include restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by one or more of the following: 

(a) Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus;

(b) Apparently inflexible adherence to specific nonfunctional routines or rituals;

(c) Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements);

(d) Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.

(4) A student who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three could be identified as having autism if the criteria in (2) and (3) are met. 

(5) The student may not be identified as having autism if the student's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the student has an emotional disturbance.

20-7-401. Definitions

(3) "Autism" means a developmental disability that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, that is generally evident before 3 years of age, and that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environment change or to change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has a serious emotional disturbance.


10.16.3322 Composition of the team

(1) The child study team is a group of individuals that determines whether a student with disabilities is eligible for special education and related services. The child study team includes the following members:

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(e) At least one teacher or other specialist with knowledge in the area of suspected disability who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results. ... For specific disabilities, the following specialists or teachers are required for initial evaluation:

(iii) autism - a school psychologist and speech-language pathologist; 

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