Inclusion for Students with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: Definitions and Decision Making


Correspondence to: Jenine M. Sansosti, State Support Team–Region 8, 420 Washington Avenue, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221. E-mail:


General education placements are believed to offer numerous benefits for students with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASDs), yet decisions about including students with HFASDs remain controversial. This article presents data from a qualitative analysis of definitions and decision making considerations for a school district with a rapidly increasing HFASD student population. Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with a diverse group of educators from four elementary schools that offered inclusion placement options as part of their continuum of services. Objectives for this study included documenting how educators from different schools and professional disciplines define and make decisions about inclusion for students with HFASDs.