How does the law become involved in what happens (or should happen) in school, at home, and eventually in adult life after a child is diagnosed with autism or a related disorder? Are there legal rights to therapy, education, or medical and social services? How can parents, guardians and others look to local, state and federal agencies for assistance and advice? This lecture offers a brief history of the evolution of laws for children with disabilities, with particular emphasis on special education law. Starting with early civil rights cases and moving to most recent legislation, the discussion will more closely examine current disability laws, particularly as they affect children on the autism spectrum.

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