Online Learning for Students with Autism: Promising Practices and Potential Pitfalls

  • Maci M Spica MN Department of Education
  • Jeff Plaman MN Dept of Education
Keywords: autism, evidence-based practices, promising practices


Students enroll in online learning courses for a variety of reasons including to avoid anxiety-inducing or uncomfortable social settings. Enrollment in Minnesota’s online learning programs by students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is higher than average and is trending up over time. In an effort to find out more about the opportunities and challenges for online programs serving students with ASD, a practitioner’s group was established to examine enrollment trends, promising practices and supports, and student outcomes. We will share what’s emerging from this work including practical information for teachers around effective practice and discuss some of the challenging questions that remain.

Author Biography

Maci M Spica, MN Department of Education

Maci Spica, BCBA is the state Autism Spectrum Disorder and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education and an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas. She is a board-certified behavior analyst and is licensed in special education with an endorsement in autism.