This issue of NASET’s Autism Spectrum Disorder series was written by Regina Kearley and Doris Adams Hill. The authors examined the six court cases found in the LexisNexis database regarding Asperger’s disorder and IDEA decided in 2010, to exemplify how qualification for services and placement in the least restrictive environment are often dependent on state definitions and professional interpretation. For individuals impacted by Asperger’s disorder, getting a diagnosis can be frustrating, and getting much needed services subject to the expertise of professionals using DSM criteria, strength of family advocates, an administrative classification under one of 13 disabilities under IDEA. The authors synthesize information for LEAs regarding service provision and qualification, and contend that understanding the changes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, interpretation of state definitions, and administrative classification under IDEA impact individuals with Asperger’s. These six cases from 2010 are a benchmark to compare future outcomes in consideration of changes in the DSM.
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