Academics and cognitive profiles of students with autism: Implications for classroom practice and placement

by Kurth, J.A., & Mastergeorge, A.M.

The rising incidence of autism and placement in the general education necessitates a greater understanding of the impact of educational placement on academic achievement for adolescents with autism. In the present study, the academic profiles of adolescents with autism who have been educated in inclusive and self-contained settings are described using three measures: cognitive assessments, adaptive behavior, and academic achievement. Findings indicate significant between group differences (inclusion versus self-contained) in academic achievement measures.  However, there were no significant difference in intelligence or adaptive behavior assessment scores for those adolescents education.  Students who were included in the general education obtained significantly higher scores on tests of achievement, including subtests measuring abstract and inferential skills; however, all students demonstrated emerging academic skills on standardized measures. The importance of academic inclusion for adolescents with autism is described.

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