Title

General education teachers' perceptions of educating students with an Autism spectrum disorder in an inclusive classroom

Date of Award

2015

Degree Name

Ed.S. in School Psychology

Department

School of Education and Health Sciences

Advisor/Chair

Advisor: Elana R. Bernstein

Abstract

Due to the increasing prevalence rates of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014) and increasing inclusion rates reported by the state of Ohio (Ohio Department of Education, 2012), general education teachers are increasingly called on to provide support in the classroom for these students. Thus, it is important to understand teachers' perceptions of these experiences. Previous research indicates that teachers hold favorable perceptions regarding the inclusion of students with autism in the classroom (Robertson, Chamberlain, & Kasari, 2003); however, few studies have examined the relationship between these perceptions and teachers' previous training and education on autism or their experiences educating students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in an inclusive classroom. Through a web-based survey, 108 general education teachers from Ohio reported on their backgrounds, and responded to statements about their perception of educating students with an ASD in an inclusive classroom. Results indicated general education teachers had somewhat favorable perceptions in educating students with an ASD in an inclusive classroom. There was no significant relationship between a teacher's perceptions and the teacher's training or education on autism, or previous experiences educating students with an ASD in an inclusive classroom. However, general education teachers reported their pre-service training on autism as insufficient; they also reported rarely taking part in employment-based trainings regarding autism. General education teachers reported a desire to gain better understanding of characteristics of ASD, evidence-based behavioral interventions, and teaching strategies for students with ASD. Schools should aim to address these concerns, and school psychologists are in an effective position to carry out such trainings.

Keywords

Autistic people Education, Mainstreaming in education, Teachers Attitudes, Education, Educational Psychology, Special Education, autism, teacher perceptions, general education, school psychology, autism spectrum disorder, inclusion

Rights Statement

Copyright 2015, author

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