Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that affect social interaction, communication, and behavior. Over the past two decades, ASDs have increasingly become a topic in education policy discussions, primarily because of the steady increase of children with autism receiving special education and related services.
This report is the second in a series in response to a legislative inquiry about public services for infants, children, and youth with autism in Tennessee. The series has been divided into public policy areas directly connected to autism services (i.e., data collection, education, and healthcare services). Part 2 includes an overview of the special education process and associated laws, and includes approaches being taken by Tennessee and other states to prepare teachers and school staff to educate children with autism. Part 1 provides an overview of autism as a disability and associated laws, as well as data collection methods. The final report in the series will review healthcare services.