Dr. Phillips Principal Eugene Trochinski strongly supports such inclusion.
His 3,500-student high school has at least four mentoring programs that bring together students with and without disabilities. Others include a cheerleading program, in-school tutoring and an after-school social club.
"They feel so normal," Trochinski said of the students with disabilities. "The collateral we didn't expect was to see how much it means to the regular kids."
Mark DiConsiglio, the administrator who oversees autism programs for Seminole schools, said more efforts are now addressing the social needs of students with autism.