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How do students with ASD tend to benefit from interacting with non-disabled peers?

Expert answer

One of the primary difficulties for our folks is that they have social challenges. And so placing them in classrooms with other kids who all have social challenges doesn’t really seem to make much sense to me.

I think I lost perspective on what is typical behavior and I might not have pushed my students as much as I needed to. So I think as an educator when you have kids with ASD around typical kids, you have a better sense of what they’re going to face when they’re in society.

And I think that when kids are in really restrictive settings that we overly accommodate them, and as a result we often times accommodate them right out of possibilities. I’ve heard that 60% to 90% of adults with autism are unemployed or underemployed. And there is research that says when individuals are in segregated settings they graduate into segregated settings as adults, and so we’re really not setting folks up for a life in community.

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