Educational Placement for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Finland
Inclusion is the official educational policy in Finland, and since 2011, a new systematic way of organizing support, a so-called three-tiered support model, has been implemented. The chapter introduces how the new model changed the educational placement procedures and discusses how the educational placement of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is planned and implemented within the framework of the three-tiered support model. The options for placement are: (a) placement in a mainstream classroom with the help of general, intensified or special support, depending on the child’s needs; (b) placement in a special classroom including support, for example, from a part-time special education teacher; or (c) placement in a special school with additional support services, such as part-time special education. The placement can also be organized in a flexible manner, which means that a child can study, for example, 50% of his or her lessons during 1 day in a mainstream classroom and the rest of the lessons in a special classroom. Nevertheless, the educational placement of a child with ASD is always decided individually, and, whenever possible, placement is to be in a mainstream classroom.
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