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State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > California > Edc > 56846-56847

EDUCATION CODE
SECTION 56846-56847



56846.  (a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the
following:
   (1) Autism is the fastest growing special education eligibility
category for public education in California and the nation. In the
years between 1998 and 2002, the number of pupils with autism
receiving services in California almost doubled, from 10,360 to
20,377. These numbers have continued to climb at a surprising rate.
In 2004, there were 4,427 additional pupils diagnosed with autism, an
increase of 18 percent.
   (2) Autism is not a rare disorder. It is a major public health
problem that must be better addressed by the State Department of
Education, the State Department of Developmental Services, the State
Department of Social Services, the state public school system
regional centers, and all other entities assisting children with
autism.
   (3) Significant gains have been made in the expansion of research
related to autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. The
findings of this research need to be more fully disseminated to
parents, families, school districts, nonpublic schools, and regional
centers throughout the state.
   (b) Accordingly, it is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting
Schedule (1) of Item 4300-101-0001 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act
of 2006 (Ch. 47, Stats. 2006), which, funded the Autistic Spectrum
Disorders Initiative of the State Department of Developmental
Services, and this chapter, to allow the identification and
dissemination of research-based recommended practices and
professional development programs for children with autism to be
fully accessible and available to parents and educators.



56846.2.  (a) For purposes of this chapter, a "pupil with autism" is
a pupil who exhibits autistic-like behaviors, including, but not
limited to, any of the following behaviors, or any combination
thereof:
   (1) An inability to use oral language for appropriate
communication.
   (2) A history of extreme withdrawal or of relating to people
inappropriately, and continued impairment in social interaction from
infancy through early childhood.
   (3) An obsession to maintain sameness.
   (4) Extreme preoccupation with objects, inappropriate use of
objects, or both.
   (5) Extreme resistance to controls.
   (6) A display of peculiar motoric mannerisms and motility
patterns.
   (7) Self-stimulating, ritualistic behavior.
   (b) The definition of "pupil with autism" in subdivision (a) shall
not apply for purposes of the determination of eligibility for
services pursuant to the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities
Services Act (Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 4500) of the
Welfare and Institutions Code).



56847.  (a) (1) The Superintendent shall convene, with input from
the University of California, the California State University,
relevant fiscal and policy standing committees of the Legislature,
the Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism established under
Resolution Chapter 124 of the Statutes of 2005, the State Department
of Developmental Services, and other appropriate entities, an
advisory committee to develop recommendations identifying the means
by which public and nonpublic schools, including charter schools, can
better serve pupils with autism and their parents.
   (2) The advisory committee shall be composed of parents of
children with autism, school district administrators, teachers,
representatives of county offices of education, representatives of
special education local plan areas, representatives of nonpublic,
nonsectarian schools and agencies, autism research specialists,
physicians who possess a background or expertise in a pertinent
medical field, such as psychiatry or behavioral science, and
individuals with a recognized expertise in the best practices for
providing instruction to children with autism.
   (b) The recommendations developed by the advisory committee shall
include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
   (1) Developing a policy on the most effective manner of informing
schools about the status of educationally related research and
outreach services available to children with autism and their
families. It is the intent of the Legislature that schools utilize
that information to develop educationally related programs and
services for children with autism.
   (2) Creating a statewide clearinghouse for information on the
findings of educationally related research-based, recommended
practices to support children with autism that can be disseminated to
schools, parents, and other interested parties. These educationally
related practices shall include, but are not limited to, the early
detection of, and development of, coordinated services to children
with autism and the professional development of pertinent
individuals.
   (3) The feasibility and need for establishing a program that would
provide technical assistance to schools on all of the following
subjects:
   (A) The identification and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders.
   (B) The development of research-based programs that best serve
children with autism in order for them to succeed academically.
   (C) The development of a research-based professional development
program to train teachers and administrators on the best practices
for providing instruction to children with autism.
   (c) The recommendations developed by the advisory committee shall
not be construed or applied as state-imposed standards or binding on
any individualized education program (IEP) team, special education
official, or child with autism. This chapter does not prescribe or
define an appropriate educational or habilitative program for a child
with autism.
   (d) The recommendations developed by the advisory committee do not
govern the services and supports provided pursuant to the Lanterman
Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Division 4.5 (commencing
with Section 4500) of the Welfare and Institutions Code). This
chapter does not prescribe or define an appropriate individualized
family service plan pursuant to Section 95020 of the Government Code
or an individual program plan pursuant to Sections 4646 to 4648,
inclusive, of the Welfare and Institutions Code for a child with
autism.
   (e) On or before November 1, 2007, the advisory committee shall
submit its recommendations to the Legislature and to the Governor.