April is a month filled with headlines about Autism. We are advocates of BOTH awareness AND acceptance here at YSER. But more importantly, we are believers in positive, productive solutions to the real threats which face children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD.
A scary statistic by the National Autism Association reveals that 91% of children and adolescents under the age of 14 with autism who died unexpectedly did so because they drowned. NINETY ONE PERCENT!
It seems pretty obvious to us that, based on these statistics, families should be requesting that swimming instruction, and safety instruction around this issue should be incorporated into the IEPs for students those students who are at risk. Such services can be written into an IEP under a number of goals: those that address daily living skills; those that address community safety; even those that address leisure skills.
And when you are asked, as you may well be, how this is an educational issue, your response can simply be this: the IDEA requires not just academic instruction, but also that IEPs focus on “functional and adaptive skills.”