SECC Information Request: State Use of Autism Coordinators
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A state department of education (SDE) served by the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) at SEDL requested information for the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee regarding the following questions:
1. Are the SDEs using autism-specific state program coordinators?
2. If so, what are the roles and responsibilities for this position?
According to the Autism Fact Sheet from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NINDS, 2013), “autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.” In some states, autism coordinators are used to coordinate services and programming that are targeted to serve students with autism. For example, Arlington Public Schools, in the state of Virginia, is one of a number of school districts using autism coordinators to serve this group of diverse learners (Arlington Public Schools, 2011). Specific information on the use of autism-specific state program coordinators in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee is provided in Table 1.