This issue of NASET’s Inclusion series was written by Jordan Romanski. The ruling of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) passed in 1975 brought about new ideas of teaching individuals with disabilities in different settings and environments. The Salamanca Statement (UNESCO) in 1994 recognized the necessity of providing education for all children. These acts made available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities and ensure special education to those children. Public schools across the United States must provide students with all disabilities an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that supports learning of academic, social, and behavior goals in locations considered to be the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Historically, this LRE is located in a separate classroom or school entirely. Recently, however, according to Evidence Based Practice (EBP), research is now proving the benefits of combining these children with their typically developing peers in the general education settings given the appropriate supports to succeed. Combining children who have Autism and other disabilities into the general education setting and providing them with the resources they need to succeed will only benefit students, parents, and teachers alike as well as increase peoples’ opinions of the idea of inclusiveness.
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