The number of autistic children is on the rise in the United States and Albemarle County schools are trying to cope with the change.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism. This increase can be credited to many different things, but one thing is for sure, public schools need more resources to provide these children with tools for success.
Last school year, almost 1,500 K-12 students in Albemarle County received disability service, though only about 200 of those were specifically autistic. Over 450 students receiving assistance were in the specific learning disabilities category.
"The goal for autistic children is no different than it is for any other child in the school system, which is to help them develop the skills, lifelong learning skills they need to be productive citizens and members of the work force,” said Phil Giaramita, communications officer for Albemarle County Public Schools.
Albemarle County is working to increase the resources they have for families of autistic students. They already have a parental advisory committee, and have hired two more behavior specialists.