Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Education Overview

Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States. The latest statistics estimate that as many as 1 in 68 students fall somewhere along the spectrum (with boys five times as likely to have autism as girls), and the growth rate is only expected to rise annually.* The autism spectrum includes the following classifications:

  • Autism / Autistic Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified)
  • CDD (Childhood Disintegrative Disorder)
  • Rett Syndrome

To meet the pressing need for customized education services for teaching children with autism spectrum disorders, SESI schools continue to expand the autism education programming at our existing sites and to regularly open new autism education centers within our nationwide network. SESI currently offers three different tiers of autism education service to accommodate children with different levels of ASD intensity at select sites:**

Tier 1: Dedicated Autism Education Centers

Full schools dedicated exclusively to teaching children with autism spectrum disorders—including those on the autism spectrum with the most intense needs—run by qualified autism professionals.

Tier 2: Dedicated Autism Classrooms

Individual classrooms reserved for teaching children with autism spectrum disorders within a SESI school, for mild to moderate autism cases.

In-School Autism Programming

Enrollment of high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders in a SESI special needs school, when IEP requirements can be fully satisfied within our established education model.

Functional Life Skills Program

A stand-alone, customizable life skills curriculum delivered on the premises of a public or charter school in a SESI-designated classroom(s), consisting of a six-pronged approach to life skills training: (1) coursework; (2) staff support; (3) vocational training; (4) behavioral and social skills; (5) community immersion; and (6) independent living instruction. This option for teaching children with autism is ideal for individual schools or school districts that want to fulfill IEP calls for independent living skills education in students’ home schools.

Consultation & Training

An integral part of SESI’s mission is to share our expertise with fellow educators of students with autism spectrum disorders so that, together, we can help improve their future prospects. As such, we offer a wide range of professional development opportunities, training options, and consulting specialty areas that equip our clients with tools and techniques that are most effective with difficult-to-educate populations and that enhance the overall school experience for faculties and students alike. (Click here for more information)


  *As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (March 2014).

 **Not all SESI schools offer the same level of autism programming. Current available services depend on
   specific school site, number and age range of students enrolled, and autism classification. Learn more
   about our different ASD service options or contact us for information on program specifics and curricular
   components at our various sites en route to determining the best and most suitable placement per child.