Autism & The Law

How the Law Evolved to Provide Services for Children with Disabilities

Written on 26 September 2010, for:
The International Center For Autism Research and Education

Congress enacted the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142, or PL 94-14), and was signed into law on November 29, 1975 by President Gerald Ford.

PL 94-14 was to support states and localities in protecting the rights of, meeting the individual needs of children with disabilities and their families. This landmark law is currently enacted as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended in 1997.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.

Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.

Under IDEA 2004:

– Special education and related services should be designed to meet the unique learning needs of eligible children with disabilities, preschool through age 21.

– Students with disabilities should be prepared for further education, employment and independent living.

As of 2006, more than 6 million children in the U.S. receive special education services through IDEA.  Children with disabilities who qualify for special education are also automatically protected by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and under theAmericans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, all modifications that can be provided under Section 504 or the ADA can be provided under the IDEA if included in the student’s IEP. Students with disabilities who do not qualify for special education services under the IDEA may qualify for accommodations or modifications under Section 504 and under the ADA. Their rights are protected by due process procedure requirements

Autism is a diagnosis that falls under Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), qualifying a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder to receive services under the current law.

Source: 

http://idea.ed.gov/

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