Special Education Laws and Autism

19 Tex. Admin. Code § 89.1055(e)

(e) For students eligible under § 89.1040(c)(1) of this title (relating to Eligibility Criteria), the strategies described in this subsection must be considered, based on peer-reviewed, research-based educational programming practices to the extent practicable and, when needed, addressed in the IEP:(1) extended educational programming (for example: extended day and/or extended school year services that consider the duration of programs/settings based on assessment of behavior, social skills, communication, academics, and self-help skills);(2) daily schedules reflecting minimal unstructured time and active engagement in learning activities (for example: lunch, snack, and recess periods that provide flexibility within routines; adapt to individual skill levels; and assist with schedule changes, such as changes involving substitute teachers and pep rallies);(3) in-home and community-based training or viable alternatives that assist the student with acquisition of social/behavioral skills (for example: strategies that facilitate maintenance and generalization of such skills from home to school, school to home, home to community, and school to community);

(4) positive behavior support strategies based on relevant information, for example:

(A) antecedent manipulation, replacement behaviors, reinforcement strategies, and data-based decisions; and

(B) a behavioral intervention plan developed from a functional behavioral assessment that uses current data related to target behaviors and addresses behavioral programming across home, school, and community-based settings;

(5) beginning at any age, consistent with subsection (h) of this section, futures planning for integrated living, work, community, and educational environments that considers skills necessary to function in current and post-secondary environments;

(6) parent/family training and support, provided by qualified personnel with experience in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), that, for example:

(A) provides a family with skills necessary for a student to succeed in the home/community setting;

(B) includes information regarding resources (for example: parent support groups, workshops, videos, conferences, and materials designed to increase parent knowledge of specific teaching/management techniques related to the student’s curriculum); and

(C) facilitates parental carryover of in-home training (for example: strategies for behavior management and developing structured home environments and/or communication training so that parents are active participants in promoting the continuity of interventions across all settings);

(7) suitable staff-to-student ratio appropriate to identified activities and as needed to achieve social/behavioral progress based on the student’s developmental and learning level (acquisition, fluency, maintenance, generalization) that encourages work towards individual independence as determined by, for example:

(A) adaptive behavior evaluation results;

(B) behavioral accommodation needs across settings; and

(C) transitions within the school day;

(8) communication interventions, including language forms and functions that enhance effective communication across settings (for example: augmentative, incidental, and naturalistic teaching);

(9) social skills supports and strategies based on social skills assessment/curriculum and provided across settings (for example: trained peer facilitators (e.g., circle of friends), video modeling, social stories, and role playing);

(10) professional educator/staff support (for example: training provided to personnel who work with the student to assure the correct implementation of techniques and strategies described in the IEP); and

(11) teaching strategies based on peer reviewed, research-based practices for students with ASD (for example: those associated with discrete-trial training, visual supports, applied behavior analysis, structured learning, augmentative communication, or social skills training).

(f) If the ARD committee determines that services are not needed in one or more of the areas specified in subsection (e) of this section, the IEP must include a statement to that effect and the basis upon which the determination was made.


34 C.F.R. § 300.8

(1)(i) Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

(ii) Autism does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance, as defined in paragraph (c)(4) of this section.


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