The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was passed in 1997. This act was especially helpful in the mainstreaming of autistic students because it mandated school districts to provide the least restrictive learning environment for individuals with disabilities like autism. School districts are now responsible for placement and funding of students with disabilities like autism through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In response, school districts began developing support classrooms and education programs designed for autistic children. The IEP, or Individual Education Plan is a byproduct of IDEA as well.