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01-06-2012 | Original Paper | Uitgave 6/2012

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 6/2012

Matching Children on the Autism Spectrum to Classrooms: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 6/2012
Lara Delmolino, Sandra L. Harris


Meeting the needs of a learner with an autism spectrum disorder requires specialized expertise. Assessing the extent to which a potential program or classroom meets a child’s needs is a source of serious challenge for parents and professionals alike. Indeed, identifying, prioritizing and agreeing upon the child’s needs are complex questions for which there are no clear and straightforward answers. The process of establishing a match between a student and a placement must explore several primary dimensions: child, setting, and instructor variables, treatment philosophy and strategies, assessment and evaluation, and family needs and involvement. Additionally, there is a great deal of complexity considering how to interpret, integrate and apply empirical research findings and prominent professional opinions to develop sound and practical solutions. Discussion and agreement about the importance of each of these factors and how they apply in a specific situation forms the foundation of an interactive dialogue between service providers and families to create a “best fit” between student and program.

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