There is a lot of misconception around autism educational eligibility, leaving parents of those who are in the spectrum confused about their children educational needs. A medical diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) doesn’t immediately entitle a child to special education services. It does, however provide insight to determine medical necessity. Schools are usually the one to conduct evaluation to properly determine a child’s educational eligibility and their need for special education and/or other related services. In any case, the primary focus for determining educational eligibility is the impact that ASD has on a child’s learning.

As earlier pointed out a medical diagnosis doesn’t constitute an educational determination. A physician’s diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean that your child qualifies for special education as educational eligibility cannot rely on medical diagnosis alone. An educational assessment is to be conducted by school professionals, and school psychologists will determine whether or not a child meets the eligibility criteria for receiving special ASD educational services. Receiving an ASD diagnosis, however, is a critical step in identifying medical necessity services.

Typically, autism educational eligibility is decided upon by a CCC or a case conference committee, which consists of school professionals, along with the child’s parents. In making such a decision, the case conference committee must consider all information and insight provided by a multidisciplinary team. The multidisciplinary team or M-Team comprises of qualified professionals who are responsible for conducting an educational evaluation. The M-Team must be composed of specialists with thorough knowledge in an area of the child’s suspected disability along with a teacher that is duly licensed to deal with such learning difficulty. The team may also include a special education teacher, a general education teacher, a speech language pathologist, a school psychologist, or a qualified professional based on the unique needs or suspected disability of the child.