ASD – Public Schools and Mainstream
Public school and mainstream curricula do not provide social skill or life skill remediation to students with ASD. This lack of remediation within the public system has increased the demand and attendance at AEF schools; the school grew from 23 students in 2003 to 210 students in 2011. The growth at AEF Schools has mirrored the expansion of ASD in the general population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (21013), a diagnosis of ASD has risen from one in 2,000 to one in 68 over the past 30 years. Although changes in diagnostic criteria might be partially responsible for the increase in ASD, there is no question of the escalating prevalence of ASD in the general population (Yeargin-Allsopp, 2003).
Creating a sense of understanding and acceptance of students with ASD, along with remediating their social skill deficits, is part of the mission statement of AEF. Teaching compromise fits within the scope of communication and social skill remediation. AEF has designed and implemented several programs into its curriculum to address the social deficits of students with ASD. These programs include social skill classes, life skill classes, and cognitive skill-training exercises. Although these programs are somewhat successful teaching social skills to students with ASD, progress is slow, and not all students with ASD develop the appropriate socialization and compromise skills.