Although autism is a disorder without a known cause or cure, it is well known in most circles. However, many people don’t know specifics about the disorder or the capabilities of those with it. Many people would be uncomfortable dealing with a child with autism or broaching the topic with a parent or caregiver. In terms of societal implementations for the aid and acceptance of autistic children, the community has stepped in to ensure equality and provide many types of support. PL9-142 is a law that was passed to give equal educational opportunities and resources to children with disabilities. The law, which has been amended over time, includes that its purpose is “to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living” (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004). This law requires school districts to follow certain guidelines in order to receive federal funding, meaning schools will be equipped to handle the enrollment of a student with a disability such as autism. These illustrations of support show a community moving in the direction of acceptance, progressing to a future of integration. In addition to these types of laws, communities now include many levels of support for individuals with and families of autism, including therapy, medical resources, and support groups (see Advocacy Groups for details).
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, Public Law 108–446, § 651, 118 STAT. 2651 (2004).
[Photograph of Integrated Classroom]. Retrieved December 14, 2011 from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smithereen/2272374436/