Opinion
Special Education Letter to the Editor

NCLB Should Include the Needs of Those on the Autism Spectrum

August 04, 2015 1 min read

To the Editor:

The hotly contested No Child Left Behind Act has brought sweeping changes to education across the nation. Since taking effect in 2002, the law has altered classroom content and teaching methods.

NCLB includes many flaws that undermine its effectiveness and threaten to negatively impact students, particularly those with special needs, such as autism.

Too often, students with special needs are forgotten in education policy decisionmaking. Under NCLB, these students are required to achieve the same standards while overcoming additional obstacles. That has to change.

Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, impacts one in 68 Americans. It is thought that more than 3.5 million people are currently living with ASD in the United States. The rate of diagnoses is on the rise, with prevalence having jumped nearly 120 percent between 2000 and 2010.

Over nearly five decades of experience, I’ve seen the principles of broad-spectrum applied-behavior analysis, which is focused on functional outcomes, produce successful results for countless individuals. And the research confirms the effectiveness of this analysis, especially for building crucial life skills—the skills needed for independent living and employment.

To better meet the needs of students with learning difficulties, we need interventions that prepare them for success after schooling ends. Standardized testing and purely academic coursework will not impart the crucial life skills they need in order to succeed. NCLB should begin planning for improving community and vocational skills at all stages of education, for all students.

As Congress negotiates revisions to NCLB, our lawmakers must engage in serious, responsible conversation about applied-behavior analysis and other evidence-based approaches that have the potential to improve opportunities for all students to learn meaningful skills that result in success in real-world settings and independent living.

Andy Bondy

President and Co-founder

Pyramid Educational Consultants Inc.

Newark, Del.

A version of this article appeared in the August 05, 2015 edition of Education Week as NCLB Should Include the Needs of Those on the Autism Spectrum

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Building Leadership Excellence Through Instructional Coaching
Join this webinar for a discussion on instructional coaching and ways you can link your implement or build on your program.
Content provided by Whetstone Education/SchoolMint
Teaching Webinar Tips for Better Hybrid Learning: Ask the Experts What Works
Register and ask your questions about hybrid learning to our expert panel.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Families & the Community Webinar
Family Engagement for Student Success With Dr. Karen Mapp
Register for this free webinar to learn how to empower and engage families for student success featuring Karen L. Mapp.
Content provided by Panorama Education & PowerMyLearning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Hiring Bilingual and Special Education Teachers NOW!
Newark, New Jersey
Newark Public Schools
DevOps Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
User Experience Analyst
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Senior Business Analyst - 12 Month Contract
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association

Read Next

Special Education What Biden's Pick for Ed. Secretary Discussed With Disability Rights Advocates
Advocates for students with disabilities want Biden to address discipline and the effects of COVID-19 on special education.
2 min read
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, as Biden, right, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, look on.
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Dec. 23, 2020, as Biden, right, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, left, look on.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
Special Education Schools Struggled to Serve Students With Disabilities, English-Learners During Shutdowns
The needs of students with IEPs and English-language learners were not often met after the pandemic struck, says a federal report.
3 min read
Young boy wearing a mask shown sheltering at home looking out a window with a stuffed animal.
Getty
Special Education How Will Schools Pay for Compensatory Services for Special Ed. Students?
States’ efforts so far suggest there won’t be enough money to go around for all the learning losses of students with disabilities from COVID-19 school shutdowns.
8 min read
student struggling blue IMG
iStock/Getty
Special Education Bridging Distance for Learners With Special Needs
The schooling services that English-language learners and students with disabilities receive don’t always translate well to remote learning. Here’s how schools can help.
9 min read
Special IMG
E+/Getty