Question: What should the educational goals be for my child with autism, and should I have the same expectations as I would for any other child?
Answer: The educational goals really for all children would be ultimately independence and being able to be a contributing member of society. When we think about the group of children with autism, to reach that end goal, we have three sets of needs: academic, social, as well as addressing any maladaptive behaviors.
And when we think through the specifics of this, we need to recognize that all children with autism are individuals and that we are dealing with a spectrum of impairment. The child who is non-verbal with no language will need a very different set of educational goals than the child who is high-functioning, perhaps gifted, but with quite a bit of social impairment.
So an appropriate educational set of goals for a child with autism require this three-pronged approach.