In light of the new statistics showing a boom in autism, New York City has created a program called ASD Nest, which places high-functioning autistic students in classrooms with non-autistic students. Certainly, some parents of non-autistic students will never consider putting their children in a “special-ed” classroom by choice, but others see this as a great opportunity. Why? (1) The student-teacher ratio is phenomenal: a sample class would have two teachers teaching four ASD children along with eight typically developing children. A 6/1 ratio! (2) The teachers have extra training in fostering the academic and emotional development of all children, and so are likely to be some of the most highly educated teachers at a given school. (3) Parents say having their children learn around students of different ability levels makes them more caring, kind, and empathetic people.
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contributions from Frankie Thomas and Ilya Tsinis
Image from Microsoft Office