Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Autism Spectrum Disorders Health Center

Font Size

Autism in the Classroom

WebMD talks to parents, therapists, and educators for advice on how to help children with autism thrive in the classroom.

Autism in the classroom: The IEP meeting

Public schools are legally bound to use an IEP to guide the education of a child with an ASD. IEP stands for individualized education plan. It outlines therapies and educational programs that will be provided to help ensure your child's educational success. Therapies might include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and behavioral therapy. The IEP might also define the time your child will spend with a special education teacher.

During the meeting, educators make decisions about what services your child will receive or be offered during the school year. IEP meetings can be held at any time throughout the school year.

Here are tips from parents and educators for having a successful IEP meeting:

  • Be an advocate, not an agitator. It doesn’t work to go in demanding “We want this, we want that.” What works is being prepared to discuss goals your child can attain.

Be ready to talk about supportable, age-appropriate goals for your child. For instance, one goal might be for your child to initiate a conversation with a peer several times a week.

  • Invite outside team members to participate. Bringing in an expert -- for instance, a former teacher or therapist -- who really knows your child can enhance the team’s efforts to design strategies and brainstorm goals.
  • Show gratitude. Thank everyone who attends your IEP meeting. Send them a handwritten note or an email. A child with an ASD creates more work for teachers. So it’s good to show your appreciation.

Autism in the classroom: Changing schools

Platzman advises parents to not be shy about changing schools if things aren’t working out the way they should.

One “litmus test” she uses for knowing it’s time to change is when a child is continually punished for something he or she has no control over.

Platzman says that something like “stimming” may be neurologically based. Stimming refers self-stimulating behaviors when a child with autism makes repetitive motions. Stimming may be prompted by anxiety, boredom, or being lost in school.

Children with autism also often have sensory issues. For instance, your child might be either under-sensitive or extremely sensitive to light or touch. Or your child may crave deep pressure or be calmed by chewing things. If a child can’t say, “Hey I’m lost,” in class, he might compensate by doing something like chewing pencils.

Most general education teachers are not trained to notice these types of behaviors. As a result, kids with an ASD often get punished for “bad behavior.”

Today on WebMD

girl at window
Symptoms within the first 2 years of a child’s life.
boy playing a violin
How is this condition similar to autism?
Mother and daughter indoors playing
Play therapy may undo the disorder in at-risk babies.
preschool age girl sitting at desk
What causes this rare form of autism?
High Functioning Autism And Asperge Syndrome
Gluten Free Diet Slideshow
Mother and daughter indoors playing
man on bicycle
girl at window
Mother hugging teenage son
Understanding Rett Syndrome
Home Care Tips

WebMD Special Sections