Educators adapt to increase in autistic students

Diagnoses of autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have reached unprecedented highs across the nation, with one in 88 children to be diagnosed this year, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released on March 29. This has raised concerns and drawn attention to the needs of children and families living with ASD. While autism remains without a definitive cause or known cure, much of the focus at the individual level surrounds treatment, as well as schooling of children with an ASD. Robin Johnson, student success coordinator with the St. Marys Area School District, said just 10 years ago the district had zero students identified as autistic or having ASD. "This school year, we have 27 students identified as autistic," Johnson said.