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How ‘special’ education impedes social justice for students with autism

To receive special education services, students must meet the eligibility criteria for one of the 13 disability categories designated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004. To access services, predefined criteria from one of these examples must adversely affect a student’s academic performance to a “disabling” degree. These disability labels do a disservice to students in a number of ways.

Teachers of children with autism frequently use the term “autism” to explain the behavior of their students.

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