Solving The Puzzle: Autism in NYC Schools

The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders is rising, with nearly one in 88 children diagnosed in 2011 according to the Centers for Disease Control. The rate is also rising in New York City. But there are gaps in the services available to autistic children. This semester, four students, Theo Meyer, Hema Parmar, Carl Lewis, and Rose D’souza, from the Data Visualization class at the Columbia Journalism School created a project by reviewing city and state statistics and speaking to experts.

Click here to see the entire project. 

Finding a New Educational Model for NYC’s Autistic Students

A new charter school in Harlem specifically for autistic children is modelling itself on the Department of Education’s ASD Nest program. Administrators at the Neighborhood Charter School are going door-to-door in Harlem to help identify 4 and 5 year olds who may be autistic. Theo Meyer reports.


Tracking Special Education in New York City

This map displays the rate of students in special education at each New York City School.The larger the bubble, the greater the percentage of IEP students. Click here to see a larger version of the map. (SOURCE: New York City Department of Education)


Closing the City’s Growing Autism Gap

When Marni Goltsman’s son, Brooks, was 18 months old, doctors confirmed what she and her husband suspected: he had a mild form of autism. Almost eight years later, Goltsman and her husband are still trying to help their son navigate New York City’s education system. Find a program for an autistic child in NYC is difficult because spots are limited. Rose D’souza reports.


The Changing Rate of Autism in New York State

The number of cases of autism in New York state has skyrocketed by nearly 500 percent from around 1 percent of total students in 1996 to 5.6 percent in 2011, according to data from the state Department of Education. At the same time, the number of students with learning disabilities generally has plummeted by around 30 percent.


Ages of Autistic Children in New York City

The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is rising at an unprecedented level. A recent Centers for Disease Control report found that one in 88 children was diagnosed with ASD in 2011. That’s nearly double the amount diagnosed with the learning disability in 2007, when the numbers were last counted. According to the study, part of the spike could be the result of improvements made to treatment and diagnosis, rather than an actual increase in the disease.


Struggling with Special Needs

A personal look at one mother’s struggle to provide adequate education for her special needs children, and the complexities of the student assessment system. (Hema Parmar)



One Comment on “Solving The Puzzle: Autism in NYC Schools”

  1. Hi
    I have a nephew with autism, and in the beginning it was hard to deal with him, because he never paid attention and a moment to the other he began running and screaming a lot,and sometimes he bit our arms.

    We did not know how to handle the situation, ask an expert for help learn to dea and we read good books about how to dealing with autism… It has not been easy, but about a year he began to attend school, and has been very good, because he has learned to deal with children and is slowly acting like a normal child, but we still have a long battle ahead.
    Sorry for the bad english…
    Regards and congratulations for your excellent website. 🙂

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