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Autistic Children Thrive in Mainstream Preschool Settings

According to studies done at LaTrobe University,  toddlers with autism were just as capable as typical preschool children to learn important life skills in a mainstream setting than a specialized setting.  These children were assigned to classrooms with students that were typical learners and those with other autistic students.  The results were profound.

Over a time period of three years, children  between the ages of 15 months to 32 months were assigned to classrooms with autistic and typical children. Children with autism improved in areas of social interaction, verbal communication and cognition, and adaptive behaviors being with their typical peers. These findings certainly support the theory of having childhood, inclusive, preschool settings.  These findings also did not detract from the learning of their typical preschool peers. These very same typical preschoolers maintained their normal progression of development.

CCC Director and Training Coordinator, Kristy Capes, said the results were a testament to educators, who went through rigorous training to provide the highest standard of teaching.

“The results give evidence for choice. We’re proud to have worked to fill a gap in autism research that could result in families being able to access specialized teaching and supports within their local community childcare centers,” Miss Capes said.

These results are further encouragement that inclusion classrooms, specifically those with autistic students need to be further researched so to implement the best possible instruction for the development of all future preschool children.


La Trobe University. “Children with autism thrive in mainstream pre-schools.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2018. <>.

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