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Standing Alone - Finding Support for Autism

            Andrew (names changed for privacy) is a student in Mrs. Pope's third grade class at the public elementary school in the area. He is a phenomenal student academically and always seems to be doing great on his tests and assignments. Andrew has an above average intellect, but has been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. He has an obsession with animals and is very engaged when any subject is focused toward animals. Mrs. Pope tries to engage every student in the different lessons, but not every student fully understands why Andrew always asks about animals. Andrews's interruptions about animals have evolved into a way for other students to harass him before school, during recesses, and after school. .
             Autistic spectrum disorder, also known as ASD, is a complex disorder of brain development. Students with autism are very intelligent people, and their capabilities change depending on the severity. The prevalence of ASD is on the rise. Autism has nearly doubled in America in the recent years. In 2005, every 1 in 166 children were diagnosed with autism and now in 2014 it is 1 in every 66 children. That also includes 1 in every 54 boys, because autism studies show diagnosis is five times more common in boys than girls (Wright).
             Parents who have children with Autism often wonder the best way to support their child throughout school. They ask questions such as: What challenges are my child going to face throughout the day? How can I best help my child through these trials? What is going to be most beneficial in helping my child further grow and develop mentally, physically, and emotionally? Many school districts and state school boards are intervening to try and best help parents answer these questions regarding their children with autism. In a public school, students spend 6-8 hours in the classroom, under the supervision of one teacher and surrounded by other peers of or around their own age.

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