In 2006, the Massachusetts legislature amended state law to require IEP Teams of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to consider and “specifically address” the following eight areas of development:
- the verbal and nonverbal communication needs of the child;
- the need to develop social interaction skills and proficiencies;
- the skills and proficiencies needed to avoid and respond to bullying, harassment or teasing;
- the needs resulting from the child’s unusual responses to sensory experiences;
- the needs resulting from resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines;
- the needs resulting from engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements;
- the need for any positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports to address any behavioral difficulties resulting from autism spectrum disorder;
- and other needs resulting from the child’s disability that impact progress in the general curriculum, including social and emotional development.
If you have a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, make sure your child’s IEP Team takes the time to discuss each of these eight areas of development – and to amend your child’s IEP if he or she needs additional support.
Want to read more? Here are some useful links:
- To find the complete text of Chapter 71B, please click here
- The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has issued a detailed advisory concerning this portion of the law, which can be found here