April 25, 2008
(AP) Fifteen school districts and Virginia Commonwealth University are creating a regional consortium to develop better methods of educating students with autism.
The Regional Autism Education Consortium will provide training and professional development for teachers of students with autism disorders and developmental delays. School districts will pool resources and funding and hire a central coordinator to administer the venture.
About 1,000 children in the 11-county, four-city area of the consortium are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. They hinder social interaction and communication skills.
In recent years, several districts have been sued by parents arguing the schools were not providing appropriate services for their autistic children.