Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a set of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect how children process information and see the world. ASD can impact children’s social relationships, communication skills and behaviors in different ways and to different degrees. Children with ASD may have restricted interests or repetitive patterns of behavior. ASD usually appears during the first three years of a child’s life. Most parents first notice the loss of skills or developmental delays when their child is 15 to 18 months old. Symptoms can range from very mild to severe. Each child might display a unique combination of characteristics ranging from low to high functioning forms of ASD, requiring individually determined educational and treatment programs.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Teacher Licensure – Transition Process
Current Minnesota special education teachers who are interested in the new Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) license can now use a process to review their experience and professional development activities so they can be considered. Teachers who hold a current full-time Minnesota teaching license in a special education field, have experience providing specialized instruction to students with ASD, and have participated in ongoing professional development in ASD may now initiate a review process to determine eligibility to add the ASD license to their current Minnesota license. Find information related to the ASD licensure transition process for current special education teachers, the eligibility review forms, materials, submission timelines and FAQ on the Special Education Licensure page. View a 20 minute WebEx presentation on the new process.

Basic information about ASD in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong is available on the Minnesota ParentsKnow website, as is the ASD Video Glossary, an innovative web-based tool designed to help parents and professionals learn more about the early red flags and diagnostic features of ASD. Find this information and more, including Minnesota Rule language regarding ASD, under Offsite Resources.

NEW Minneapolis Somali ASD Prevalence Project: Community Report 2013
About one in 32 Somali children aged seven to nine in 2010 were identified as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Minneapolis, according to new data released by the University of Minnesota. Somali and White children were about equally likely to be identified with ASD in Minneapolis. Somali and White children were more likely to be identified with ASD than non-Somali Black and Hispanic children. Although the estimate of the number of children with ASD was a higher number among Somali children (1 in 32) than White children (1 in 36), there is no statistically meaningful difference between the two estimates. The Somali and White estimates from Minneapolis were higher than most other communities where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracks autism spectrum disorder.

The project estimates that one in 48 children reviewed in the City of Minneapolis were identified as having ASD. Findings are limited to Minneapolis and no generalizations or comparisons can be made to other communities, school districts or the state as a whole. View the complete Community Report and resources on the University of Minnesota Research and Training Center for Community Living website. This site includes project documents, an FAQ and videos/podcasts in Somali with English captions about ASD in the Somali community.