The needs and accommodations of Autistic students must be prioritized in order to provide an inclusive and supportive learning environment.
There is no single path to educational success. An individualized plan can be an important tool for Autistic and Neurodivergent children to have a productive and fulfilling educational experience. Implementing strategies and approaches that ease stress and anxiety, address sensory processing differences, and support communication, connection, and executive functioning can help students thrive at school. Learn more about the stages of education and supports and services available through AANE.
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Early Intervention & Preschool
Early intervention and preschool programs provide young Autistic children with the necessary support and resources to help them develop their social, communication, and cognitive skills.
The early identification process for young children involves recognizing potential signs and behaviors that could indicate that a child is Autistic during the early developmental stages.
In the United States, Early Intervention (EI) is a service provided by every state for children under the age of 3 to support the needs of children who may have developmental challenges or delays.
The Difference Between Early Identification and Early Intervention
Early identification and early intervention are two closely related concepts in the context of supporting autistic children, but they refer to different stages and aspects of the process
External Resources for Early Childhood
In the United States, there are resources available to help with early intervention and preschool education.
Navigating school years can include unique challenges for Autistic students. Autistic students may benefit from accommodations and supports, such as a designated quiet space to work, help organizing assignments, or sensory breaks.
Putting Me in My IEP: Encouraging Self-Advocacy in Younger Students
"Practicing from an early age to get their needs met empowers them in the long term to become confident, self-determined adults."
Sensory Advocacy at School
"Gaining a sense of your student’s unique sensory profile is important – what causes distress and what helps them stay regulated…. What can a caregiver do to ensure their child’s or teen’s sensory needs are being met at school?"
Team Meeting Survival Tips
"My new strategy for school team meetings was to prepare as if I was at work."
The Importance of Neurodiversity: What I Wish People Understood
"I have always struggled in school. I never spoke to a classmate, or teacher, even if they spoke to me."
College & Postsecondary
Finishing high school means making some big decisions. If an Autistic student chooses to go to college, they may benefit from making a careful college and housing selection and accessing accommodations and supports such as smaller class sizes, peer mentoring, and counseling services. High school graduates could also explore other options such as certificate programs or work training opportunities, which may also have support and accommodation options. Gaining information and advanced planning will ease the transition into the young adult years.
Autism Disclosure & College
"In my work helping autistic students apply to college, the question of disclosure comes up frequently."
Finding the Right Dorm
"Advocating for yourself, even if you think the possibility of change is slim, does work and is important."
Video: Transition Planning for Autistic Individuals
From Public Schools to Postsecondary Education, Employment, and Adult Life
Video: Autistic College Graduates
Sharing Their Journey and Secrets for Success
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