by William Van Ornum, Ph.D. on
Although the education of children and teens with autism is covered both in Public Law 94-142 and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), even with these supports some parents and advocates worried that the intense needs of those with autism were not being fully addressed. This led to the passage of PL 109-416. This act:
(1) provides information and education on autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities to increase public awareness of developmental milestones;
(2) promotes research into the development and validation of reliable screening tools for autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities and disseminate information regarding those screening tools;
(3) promotes early screening of individuals at higher risk
for autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities as early as practicable, given evidence-based
screening techniques and interventions;
(4) increases the number of individuals who are able to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities;
(5) increases the number of individuals able to provide evidence-based interventions for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disabilities; and
(6) promotes the use of evidence-based interventions for individuals at higher risk for autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities as early as practicable.
The government website for the Combating Autism Act of 2006 (PL 109-416) can be found here.
Another feature of the act is to assess the role of inclusion, particularly since full inclusion for a student with autism might not include many of the necessary individual services (such as Lovaas’s Applied Behavior Analysis) which are often necessary when working with youngsters who have severe or profound deficits.