Assessment Guidelines for Identification

Autism is a disability category under the special education regulations (IDEA 2004). Autism is defined as “a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, usually evident before age 3 that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with ASD are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected because the child has an emotional disturbance” [34 C.F.R. 300.8(c)(1)].  Eligibility determination for all disability areas, including autism, is the responsibility of local education agencies (LEA).

This section provides information and resources for teams determining eligibility for special education services within the educational identification of autism.


AIM Module "Screening Across the Lifespan for Autism Spectrum Disorders"
Early screening promotes early diagnosis and intervention, offering the best outcome. However, screening can occur across the lifespan. This module addresses the importance of screening, who should be involved, recommended screening processes and procedures and screening tools.

AIM Module  "Assessment for Identification"
School personnel along with their parent partners struggle when addressing eligibility for special education services under the categorical label of autism. This module provides structures for conversations between parents and educators as well as guidance for school teams.

Ohio's Parent Guide to ASD Chapter 2
This chapter presents information regarding the difference between the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and educational identification of autism.

Middletown Centre For Autism Research Bulletin: Educational Assessment
This bulletin examines educational assessment and presents summaries and implications for practice based on seven articles from peer-reviewed journals.


Southwest Ohio Regional Autism Advisory Council (RAAC): Guiding Questions When Considering Educational Identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders
A document that provides questions to ask as part of an educational identification of a  student with an autism spectrum disorder.
Download Document (PDF)

Assessing Autism Spectrum Disorders: Guidelines for Parents and Educators
An article that provides parents and educators with guidelines for navigating the maze of assessing autism spectrum disorders.
Download Document (PDF)

Assessment Processes for Autism Spectrum Disorders: Purpose and Procedures
A document developed by the Indiana Resource Center for Autism, with contributions by Johanna Lantz. It discusses the components of an effective assessment process for evaluating an individual suspected of having an autism spectrum disorder.
Download Document (PDF)