Mission Statement

The Hernando County School District collaborates with parents and other community stakeholders to effectively prepare all students for a successful transition into a diverse and changing world.

Exceptional Student Education

Programs for Students who are Autistic


Children with Autism have a disability reflected in severe disorders of communication, behavior socialization, and academic skills, and whose disability was evident in the early developmental stages of childhood. The autistic child appears  to suffer primarily from a pervasive impairment of cognitive and perceptual functioning, and the consequences of which are manifested by a limited ability to understand, communicate, learn, and participate in social relationships.

Eligibility Criteria

A student is eligible for a special program for students with Autism  if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of onset of disorder at birth or during the first three years of life;

  2. Evidence of severely delayed or absent speech and language skills;

  3. Evidence of impaired or complete lack of emotional/social relationships;

  4. Evidence of abnormal responses to stimuli which may involve any or all of the sensory modalities; and

  5. Evidence of severe functional retardation which may be accompanied by normal or superior abilities in some areas.

Service Models

Students with Autism will receive services from teachers who specialize in Exceptional Student Education. Services may be delivered in a variety of settings from the regular classroom to a special class placement.

Dismissal Criteria

A student may be considered for dismissal if:

  • The student no longer exhibits severe impairments in socialization; possesses an intentional communication system which is functional; has an absence of behaviors which may have previously included compulsivity, rituals, self-injurious/self-stimulatory behavior.
  • There is evidence that the student can function effectively in a regular classroom through documented improvement in academics, social-personal development, language development and/or behavioral progress and control.

For further information please contact Cassandra Hall, Coordinator of ESE Instruction at the Exceptional Student Education office,  797-7022 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Last Updated on Tuesday, May 21 2013 17:09

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Exceptional Student Education
Contact Info:
Cathy Dofka, Director of ESE
900 Emerson Road
Brooksville, FL 34601

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