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What Is Autism?

This website is for educational purposes only and should not be used in the place of medical advice or treatment.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Criteria for Autism

CRF 300.7(b)(1) (1)"Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction generally evident before age 3, 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."

Kentucky Administrative Regulations Criteria for Autism

KAR 707 1:200 Sec.4.
Section 4. Autism
(1) The Admissions and Release Committee (ARC) shall determine that a child or youth has the disability of autism as defined in Kentucky Regulatory Statute (KRS) 157.200 and is eligible for specially designed instruction and related services if evaluation information collected across multiple settings verifies:

(a) deficits in developing and using verbal or nonverbal communication systems for receptive or expressive language;
(b) deficits in social interaction (participation) including social cues, emotion, expression, personal relationships, and reciprocal (contributing) interaction;
(c) repetitive ritualistic behavioral patterns inluding insistence on following routines and a persistent preoccupation and attachment to objects; and
(d) abnormal responses to environmental stimuli.

(2) The ARC shall document that the deficits are not primarily the result of one of the following: impaired hearing, physical disability, emotional-behavioral disability, specific learning disability, mental disability, visual disability, deafness and blindness, or traumatic brain injury.

(3) The ARC shall document its interpretation of evaluation information showing that the disability adversely affects educational performance and the child is eligible for specially designed instruction and related services.

DSM-IV Criteria for Autistic Disorder
as found in the Pervasive Developmental Disorders Category:

A student is considered to have autism if he/she meets the following:
A. A TOTAL OF SIX (OR MORE) ITEMS FROM #1, #2, AND #3, WITH AT LEAST TWO ITEMS FROM #1 AND ONE EACH FROM #2 AND #3:

1. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
(a) marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction;
(b) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level; and/or
(c) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoynment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing bringing, or pointing out objects of interest).

2. Qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:
(a) delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gesture or mime);
(b) in individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others;
(c) stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language; or
(d) lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level.

3. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
(a) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal in either intensity or focus;
(b) apparently infexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals;
(c) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole body movements); or
(d) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.

B. DELAYS OR ABNORMAL FUNCTIONING IN AT LEAST ONE OF THE FOLLOWING AREAS, WITH ONSET PRIOR TO AGE 3 YEARS:

1. social interaction;
2. language used as communication; or
3. symbolic or imaginative play.

C. THE DISTURBANCE IS NOT BETTER ACCOUNTED FOR BY RHETT'S DISORDER OR CHILDHOOD DISINTEGRATIVE DISORDER.

(see Manual Supplement for expanation of Asperger's Disorder and atypical autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) )

Source for this page: Kentucky Department of Education Technical Assistance Manual On Autism for Kentucky Schools, January 1997

A free copy of this manual may be obtained by writing to: Dr. Anne Moll
Ky. Dept. of Education
500 Metro Street, 17th Floor
Capital Plaza Tower
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-564-2672

Autism 101: a crash course in autism

For more information about what Autism is and how it may affect your child, please click here.

Perhaps your child has been diagnosed as having a "mild" form of autism, perhaps called "PDD-NOS," "Atypical Autism," or "Asperger's Syndrome." If this is the case, just click here for more information.

Web Page Author: Janet Lawrence
Updated: 11/17/99
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