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ERIC Number: EJ1082559
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2154-1647
A Critique of Presuming Competence of Learners with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities
Travers, Jason; Ayres, Kevin M.
Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, v50 n4 p371-387 Dec 2015
Democratic education and the dignity it affords should create opportunities for students to achieve their most desired outcomes. Some of the current thought and rhetoric in the field of special education and disability studies impinges upon these opportunities by approaching the education of children with autism and other developmental disabilities from a philosophical standpoint based on presumption rather than evidence, hope rather than data, and pseudoscience rather than science. The premise of presumed competence has evolved from earlier concepts like the criterion of the least dangerous assumption and serves to support such therapeutic quackery as facilitated communication. This paper provides a critique of arguments surrounding presumed competence and suggests an alternative position free of presumption along with a model built on empiricism to pursue the best possible educational outcomes for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children. DDD, P.O. Box 3512, Fayetteville, AR 72702. Tel: 479-575-3326; Fax: 479-575-6676; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A