By LEA WINERMAN
In the eight years that Charlene Green has spent with Nevada’s Clark County School District, she’s seen the number of children with autism spectrum disorders in her charge increase from 96 to more than 1,000. Green, the associate superintendent for student support services in the Las Vegas-area district, oversees those children’s education–an expensive, complicated task.
Five years ago, she says, the school system was at a nadir in dealing with the needs of its autistic children and their parents. “We were being bombarded with due process requests,” she says, by parents who sought legal recourse against a school system they believed wasn’t providing the necessary education for their children, as schools are required to do under the 1990 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).