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Critical Skill Sets for Special Education Teachers Working with Students with ASD

Aug 27, 2013 -- 2:38 pm
By Lynn Stansberry-Brusnahan and Phil Sievers
Chris has a puzzling neurodevelopmental disorder formally diagnosed as Pervasive Developmental Disorder and more commonly known as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are present in classrooms across our country, with a prevalence rate of 1 in 166 children (CDC, 2006). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates a continuum of education and service options in the least restrictive environment for students with disabilities. To meet this mandate is challenging because many regular educators do not have special education experience or education. And even experienced special education teachers may need additional preparation to work effectively with students who have ASD.

In response to this need for specialized teacher preparation in the area of ASD, Minnesota has proposed specific competencies for special education teachers working with students with ASD that may be applicable in any state. The competencies, modeled on the Council for Exceptional Children’s (CEC, 2000) common core for beginning special education teachers, were developed under a Minnesota Department of Education grant and are intended to do the following (Minnesota Autism Project, 2006, p. 1). To read the entire article, please click:

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