Tapestry: Journal of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Education

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Inclusive education practices must incorporate both social and academic inclusion. Before 1975, students with various disabilities did not have the same access to public education as their nondisabled or neuro-typically developing peers. With the passing of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, it was mandated that all schools that receive federal funds must provide equal access to education as a right to students with any physical, behavioral, or mental handicaps. While the mandates have broadened throughout the years, merely having a diagnosis of Autism does not guarantee resources or supports to the student unless there are also academic concerns. True inclusion looks beyond access and free and appropriate education. True inclusive practices for students on the autism spectrum would address both social and academic inclusion and welcome both the neurodiversity of the child on the spectrum, address any academic challenges, and educate the educators and student body on being inclusive.