The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide a relatively brief description of the secondary school experiences of students with autism as a group. It does not go into detail in analyzing variations in experiences as they differ by levels of functioning, for example, nor does it compare the experiences of youth in the autism category with students in other disability categories or in the general population, (although there are some comparisons between teacherreported classroom experiences7 of students with autism and their classmates). For comparisons with the general population of youth ages 14 through 18, see the NLTS2 report, Going to School: Instructional Contexts, Programs and Participation of Secondary School Students with Disabilities (Wagner, Newman et al. 2003). It also is important to note that this fact sheet does not address questions regarding the appropriateness of particular experiences or school practices for students with autism, nor is there an intention to imply causality from the data presented in this fact sheet.
7 See Newman (2005) for discussion of family involvement in the educational development of students with autism, and Cameto, Levine, and Wagner (2004) for a discussion of activities related to transition planning for students with autism.