Sufficient Educational Resources Lacking For Children With Autism

04/22/2011 12:21 pm ET | Updated Jun 22, 2011

There is more demand for educational services for autistic children than there are sufficient resources and programs, PBS NewsHour reports.

PBS legend Robert MacNeil explores the issue on a local level in New York City, where there are over 7,000 autistic students in the city's schools. Just one tenth of them attend PS 176, the only public school specifically for autistic children. Even fewer attend the autistic-only charter school.

The New York Center for Autism Charter School can only accommodate 30 students, each of which get one-on-one attention from a teacher trained to work with autistic students. It is the only school of its kind in the state of New York -- and the spots are awarded to applicants by lottery. While winning a spot can be life-changing, losing is devastating.

While examinations of both schools show the merits of how specific, targeted programs for autistic children can improve their lives, the report begs the question: what about the city's other 6,270 autistic children?

The video is part of NewsHour's "Autism Now," a six-part series on the topic in honor of Autism Awareness Month.