Educational and School-Based Therapies for Autism

Children with autism are guaranteed free, appropriate public education under the federal laws of Public Law 108-177: Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004), sometimes called "IDEA."

IDEA ensures that children diagnosed with certain disabilities or conditions, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), get free educational services and educational devices to help them to learn as much as they can.

NICHD-funded researchers have also incorporated communications interventions for children with ASD within the classroom setting, with successful outcomes. Although the specific interventions used in the study are not a guaranteed part of IDEA, components from the program could provide an important evidence-based foundation for future school-based therapies.1


  1. Chang, Y. C., Shire, S. Y., Shih, W., Gelfand, C., & Kasari, C. (2016). Preschool deployment of evidence-based social communication intervention: JASPER in the classroom. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46(6), 2211–2223. Retrieved September 8, 2016, from
  2. Ten basic steps in special education. (n.d.). Retrieved December 31, 2015, from External Web Site Policy
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