New technologies have created opportunities and higher expectations for the full inclusion of autistic people in all aspects of society, starting with the classroom. Access to assistive technologies can serve as a pathway to general education classrooms and to improve essential skills. The Autism Society, the leading advocacy group for autistic people and their families in the country, affirms that all autistic people have the same inalienable rights as all people, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture, language, geography, religion, economic status, severity of disability or intensity of need. Historically, people with autism have faced discrimination and barriers that have deprived them of their full human and civil rights. Because of this denial, autistic people have been marginalized and poor compared to others. International, federal, state and local governments are committed to protecting the human rights of all citizens, including people with autism. Laws, policies and laws must reflect fundamental human rights, including the right to health care, education, autonomy and participation in the community, access to justice, an adequate standard of living and the right not to be subjected to torture or cruel treatment or punishment, inhuman or degrading. The IDEA legislation has created an important role for parents in the education of their children. As a parent, you have the right to be treated as an equal partner with the school district when deciding on an education plan for your child and their individual needs. This allows you to be a strong advocate for your child. It also means that you must actively and informedly participate in the planning and monitoring of your child`s unique program and legal rights.
The scope of rights guaranteed to Americans with autism and other disabilities has expanded dramatically in recent decades thanks to lobbying, congressional action, and landmark lawsuits. This page provides an overview of key legal laws and services for people with autism spectrum disorders and their families. If you need a certain amount of support because of your autism diagnosis, you may also be eligible for Social Security benefits. Many people with disabilities who are unable to find competitive employment depend on Social Security benefits for the majority of their income. The Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplementary Security Income (SSI) programs are the largest federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities, both of which are administered by the Social Security Administration. These programs are only available to people with disabilities who meet certain medical criteria. If you are eligible, SSDI will pay you and some of your family members benefits if you are “insured,” meaning you`ve worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. SSI provides benefits to people with disabilities who have limited income and resources to help them meet their basic needs such as food and shelter. The Persons with Disabilities Act (IDEA) was last revised in 2004 (and was actually renamed the Improving Education of Persons with Disabilities Act, but most people still call it IDEA). The law requires the State to provide all eligible children with a free and adequate public education that meets their individual needs. IDEA states that children with a variety of disabilities, including autism, are eligible for early intervention services and special education. If your child has been diagnosed with autism, the diagnosis is usually sufficient to access the rights granted by IDEA.
If you think a child needs support at school, ask the school for an assessment for an education, health and care plan. You don`t need to have an autism diagnosis to apply for one. Healthcare providers may also want to share our Autism Healthcare Adaptation Tool and other checklists and worksheets with their patients on the autism spectrum. Autism: Detection, Orientation and Diagnosis of Children and Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum, NICE Clinical Guideline, 2011.