The South Dakota Board of Education has authorized public hearings on rule changes pertaining to students with autism and other disabilities.
Panelists voted unanimously on Monday to support the first reading of the proposed rules. They still must be reviewed by the public and by the Legislative Research Council for form and style. They are available for review online.
The changes reflect a state law approved this session requiring the Department of Education to use a manual of the American Psychiatric Association to define autism spectrum disorder. The disability affects students' communication skills and social interactions.
The law and the new rules replace the term "autism" with "autism spectrum disorder."
Lawmakers also legislated a study this year on treatment and insurance for children with autism spectrum disorder.