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Autism is a developmental disability, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a student's educational performance and significantly affects developmental rates and sequences, verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction and participation. Other characteristics often associated with autism are unusual responses to sensory experiences, engagement in repetitive activities and stereotypical movements and resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines. Students with autism vary widely in their abilities and behavior. The term does not apply if a student's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the student has an emotional and behavioral disorder. [refer to 34 CFR 300.7(c)(1)(i)]

The term of autism may also include students who have been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, Rett's Disorder, or Childhood Disintegrative Disorder provided the student's educational performance is adversely affected and the student meets the eligibility and placement requirements. Autism may exist concurrently with other areas of disability.

Resources for Professional Development for Staff

  • Autism Internet Modules:  Forty-five modules provide high quality online professional development on evidence-based practices for students with autism. Module formats include informational text, videos, checklists, and data collection documents.  Each module takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Additional links and resources are provided for deeper understanding.  Sample topics include: Comprehensive Program Planning, Differential Reinforcement, Language and Communication, Restricted Patterns of Behavior, Interests, and Activities, Self-management, Structured Teaching, and Video Modeling.
  • AFIRM Modules: Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules created by the National Professional Development Center support twenty-two evidence-based practices. Module topics include: Antecedent-based Intervention, Cognitive Behavioral Intervention, Differentiated Instruction, Discrete Trial Training, Functional Behavior Assessment, Modeling, Peer-Mediated Instruction and Intervention, Prompting, Reinforcement, and Response Interruption and Redirection, Social Skills Training, and Visual Supports. Each module takes approximately 1.5 – 2 hours to complete. Videos and parent guides are available, as well as implementation briefs, handouts for staff, and checklists that can be used for observation and feedback.
  • National Center for Professional Development in Inclusion: This website provides resources on evidence-based practices, planning and facilitation tools to support students in general ed.  Module topics include Inclusive Classroom Profile, Embedded Instruction and Other Naturalistic Interventions, Universal Design for Learning, Tiered Instruction, Scaffolding, and Family Professional Collaboration. Resource formats include videos and demonstrations, books, chapters and articles, and additional websites/resources.
  • Vanderbilt's EBIP for Young Children with Autism and Other Disabilities: This website introduces a selection of evidence-based practices that can be used to teach new skills to young children. Practices may be used to teach skills to children of a wide range of ages, but the content and examples will focus specifically on toddlers and preschool-age children ages 2-6. Broad topics include: Prompting Procedures, Communication Skills, Peer Interactions, Reinforcement, Teaching Children Outdoors, and Toilet Training.
  • Iris Center at Peabody College at Vanderbilt: The IRIS center offers multiple in-depth modules on18 evidence-based practices and programs including: Accommodations, Assessment, Behavior and Classroom Management, Collaboration, Diversity, Juvenile Corrections, Learning Strategies, RTI/MTSS, and Secondary Transition. Resource formats include modules, case studies, activities, informational briefs, video vignettes, and web resources.

Georgia Autism and Technical Assistance Program (GATTAP)

The goal of GATTAP is to provide FREE regional training to teachers/therapists who work with students with autism, providing them an opportunity to meet with and learn from job-alike peers. Sessions are organized by topic; information each day will cover elementary and secondary, classic and high functioning autism. Participants are welcome to attend one or both days of the Fall and Winter sessions as needed. Districts are responsible for travel and substitutes, as needed. Much will be learned from the free internet modules, even more from discussions and shared resources!  

Autism Resources Webinar Series - NEW!!

Webinars highlight Georgia agencies that provide services to students with autism.  Supports available for families as well as school districts will be discussed.  Information will be shared about the agency location, population served, services provided, and contact information.  Mark your calendars for the dates!

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Sleep

Studies have shown upwards of 80% of young people diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder are not getting the necessary amount of sleep.  Attached is a new guide that provides a comprehensive overview of ASD, how it affects sleep, expert sleep management information for people with ASD and additional beneficial resources.

Going to College with Asperger's & Autism

Transitioning to college can be stressful for any young adult, but those with Asperger’s syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often face additional challenges during this time.  There are people and programs in place to help, though.  This guide offers information, expert advice, and resources to help make the transition to college smooth and successful for students with ASD and their families.

Staff Contact

Debbie Reagin, Ed. D.
Education Program Specialist
1866 Twin Towers East
205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 656-6244
Fax: (770) 359-4729


Online Resources