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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Education Services

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Purpose of the Program

The children, birth-to-21, who as a result of their low-incidence disability require specialized services, are eligible for support from the Regional Programs. Regional Programs work in collaboration with Local School Districts, Early Intervention, Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) programs, Families, and Community Agencies to provide specialized educational support for children with ASD.

What is Autism?

Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics that may be 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. Essential features are typically but not necessarily manifested before age three. Autism may include autism spectrum disorders such as but not limited to autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder -- not otherwise specified, and Asperger's syndrome. The term does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance. However, a child who qualifies for special education under the category of autism may also have an emotional disturbance as a secondary disability if the child meets the criteria under emotional disturbance.

Autism Commission’s Proposed Changes to ASD Eligibility

In 2014, the Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorder (OCASD) put forward to ODE a recommendation for potential changes to the ASD definition and eligibility criteria, OARs 581-015-2000 and 581-015-2130. The proposal seeks to better align educational eligibility with medical criteria for services in an effort to relieve confusion for families receiving conflicting eligibility determinations. When the proposal was submitted to ODE for review, a work group was convened to begin "cross walking" the proposed OAR language with current OAR language, IDEA regulations, federal guidance, and DSM-V language. This work group consists of 13 members representing several regions and stakeholders around the state. Some members hold dual roles: ODE staff members (special education & general education); ASD specialists/consultants; A special education administrator; An OCASD member; A regional program director & A parent of a student with ASD.

The work group is expected to conclude its’ work in March, 2015, and will provide a recommendation to ODE from one of the following three possibilities:
  • recommend to keep current OARs;
  • recommend changes to the OARs as developed by the work group
  • recommend changes to the OARs as written by OCASD

Who is Eligible for Educational Services?

  • Lisa Darnold Email    (503) 947-5786
    Regional Programs/Best Practices - Director

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