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Increase in Autism Diagnoses and Navigating the Special Education System

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A report from the U.S. Department of Education showed that nearly 13% of students with disabilities aged 5-21 had Autism as their primary diagnosis. This is over double the amount of students diagnosed with Autism during the 2008-2009 school year. The department also found that 4 out 5 students with autism were boys. This disparity in autism diagnosis is speculated to be due to gender-based differences in autism that can create a longer path to diagnosis for girls. UCLA Health reports that nearly 80% of women with autism are undiagnosed at age 18. This delay can hinder a child’s eligibility for crucial educational accommodations and is why diagnostic criteria tailored to girls is so vital.

Navigating the public education system with any disabled child can be complex and challenging. With this increase in autism diagnoses comes more families facing roadblocks in ensuring their children receive the quality education they are entitled to.

A shortage of teachers and school aides, a lack of space at specialized day schools and the limitations posed by virtual education during the Covid-19 pandemic are just a few of the factors that can hinder a disabled student’s education. Many parents and caregivers aren’t even aware of all of the benefits, accommodations and resources that their child is entitled to under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA Act).

Fortunately, at National Care Advisors, we have a dedicated team of Master’s trained Education Consultants that specialize in navigating the special needs education system. Our consultants collaborate with parents to accomplish specified objectives and goals for their child, aiming to overcome challenges through a positive team approach that will result in the best possible outcome. Just a few of the specialized education consulting services NCA offers are:

  • Selecting the right school for the child
  • Advocating for services under the IDEA Act, including IEPs and 504 plans
  • Developing home schooling options
  • Post High School Continuing Education
  • Vocational Training
  • Transition to adult life
Want to discuss challenges you are facing with your client or child’s school? Questions about your their IEP or 504 plan? Do you have a client or child that will be transitioning out of public-school benefits and into adulthood? We are always more successful when working as a team. Contact your National Care Advisors representative today or email us at to learn more!