Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

What you need to know...

What is ASD? How prevalent is it?

  • ASD is the medical term for a nuerolgical and genetic disorder than inhibits the normal function of perceptual and cognitive skills, as well as, the proper development of language and social behaviors. The deficiencies can be categorized as mild to severe, hence, “spectrum” in the name. Individuals diagnosed with ASD may have extreme difficulties in their ability to communicate, but they may be exceptionally gifted in another area.
  • ASD is shown to have a hereditary connection. It is diagnosed five times more often in males with an estimated 1 out of 42 in the US. However, it is not associated to any particular race, culture or socioeconomic group. An overall diagnosis of ADS has increased 10 to 17 percent over the years, over 3 million in US and tens of millions in the world. While this increase may be linked to wider diagnosis and public awareness, increased toxins in our environment cannot be ruled out as a possible cause.

Educational Considerations

  • IEP-Individual Education Plan-this allows a team of educators and professional to develop monitor, and assess goals and objectives to achieve personal growth and success. The plan outlines modification of regular curriculum, accommodations to individual instructional settings, as well as, additional services that will be provided to implement and enhance the student’s educational experience.
  • Highly structured classroom instruction of functional skills with constant assessment is the most successful format for ASD students. Students also need positive reinforcement on a reward for desired behavior structure.
  • ASD students should receive instruction in a setting similar to other children. This helps with the transition into real world experiences. Technology in the classroom can be used to improve the functioning skills of ASD students.
  • BIP-Behavior Intervention Plan-used in conjunction with a student’s IEP can be beneficial to help deter and redirect inappropriate behavior. This plan utilizes a purpose for the desired behavior, eliminating origins that prompt inappropriate behavior, and providing a setting to encourage appropriate behavior.

Melissa Maltba, SPED-500, ASD Flyer


Austims Speaks, Inc. (2016). Autism Speaks. Retrieved April 02, 2016, from

Hallahan, D. P., Kauffman, J. M., & Pullen, P. C. (2015). Exceptional learners: An introduction to special education (13th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education