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features, and together, comprise the Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Students with educational classifications of autism may have ASD of differing severity as a function of the number and pattern of features defined in the eligibility criteria listed below.

4.3.1 In order for the IEP team to determine eligibility for special education services under the Autism category, the following is required: All students with an educational classification of autism demonstrate a significant, qualitative impairment in reciprocal social interaction, as manifested by deficits in at least two of the following: Use of multiple nonverbal behaviors to regulate social interactions; Development of peer relationships; Spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people, including parent(s) and caregivers; or Social or emotional reciprocity. All students with an educational classification of autism also demonstrate at least one feature from either or below: A qualitative impairment in communication, as manifested by: A lack of, or delay in, spoken language and failure to compensate through gesture; Relative failure to initiate or sustain a conversation with others; Stereotyped, idiosyncratic, or repetitive speech; or A lack of varied, spontaneous make believe play or social imitative play. Restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, as manifested by: Encompassing preoccupation or circumscribed and restricted patterns of interest; Apparently compulsive adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines and rituals; Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms; or Persistent preoccupation with parts and sensory qualities of objects.

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