General Education Settings
In the general education setting (also known as “inclusion class” or “mainstream placement”), a student is in a regular class with their grade-level peers. In this scenario, the general and special education teacher should work together to develop accommodations and modifications to provide the student with access to the general education curriculum. While in the general education setting, the student may receive instruction from the general or special education teacher or may receive assistance from a paraprofessional if designated in the IEP.
When a general education placement is the best match for a student’s needs, the student participates in a more complex, natural setting that affords almost continuous opportunities for generalization—that is, applying new skills to different people, environments, and settings—which is critical for students with autism. However, this setting is only truly helpful if it does not interfere with your child’s ability to make meaningful progress in their educational program. When appropriate, related services such as OT, PT, and SLP can be provided in the general education setting. There are some students whose educational requirements are too complex and intense to be effectively addressed in the general education setting.