Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

12-2010

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eric S. Glover

Committee Members

Virginia P. Foley, Pamela H. Scott, Cecil N. Blankenship

Abstract

This qualitative case study investigated the perceptions of parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), special education teachers, and general education teachers in a Northeast Tennessee public school system regarding educational interventions for children with ASD including what interventions they have found effective, the barriers and challenges they have faced, and how they view their relationships with one another.

Data were collected through interviews with a purposeful sample of 7 parents of 6 children with autism spectrum disorders, 8 special education teachers, and 6 general education teachers and a review of documents. Parent and teacher participants represented children at all levels on the autism spectrum, a variety of grade levels (PreK-12), and a wide range of educational placements. Data were analyzed using the constant comparison analysis method.

Nine themes emerged describing parent and teacher perceptions of educational interventions they found effective for children with ASD. These themes were intensive early intervention using multiple methods; a structured learning environment; adult-mediated and peer-mediated interventions for social and communication skills; inclusion with a balance of direct services; support staff to facilitate inclusion; a functional approach to problem behaviors; alternative and augmentative communication interventions; and sensory-motor interventions. Barriers faced by parents and teachers included lack of training and knowledge; lack of time; challenges caused by characteristics of ASD; problematic teacher attitudes; problematic parent attitudes; transition issues; and need for additional services. Parents and teachers described factors that facilitate positive parent-teacher relationships including collaboration, teamwork, and support; on-going communication; IEP Team processes; and positive teacher relationships with autistic children.

The current study helps to fill a gap in the existing research literature by adding to knowledge about parent and teacher perceptions of educational interventions for children with ASD. Recommendations are made based on study findings to provide parents and teachers with insights from other points of view that can facilitate mutual collaboration in meeting the educational needs of children with ASD.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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