Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


Early Childhood Education

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Carol Trivette

Committee Members

Pamela Evanshen, Tina Hudson


This dissertation investigated teacher perceptions about adaptive skill training within an early childhood comprehensive development classroom for students with intellectual disabilities. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding about adaptive skills from a teacher's perspective. The aims of the study were to help educators understand the role of comfort level, importance of adaptive skills, planning for adaptive skills, and connecting adaptive skills to an academic outcome. A quantitative, cross-sectional design was used, and an online survey was completed by 254 special education teachers. The participants that completed the survey were 93% female and on average had 14 years of teaching experience. The survey gathered teachers' opinions about adaptive skills. It was reported that teachers felt adaptive skills were important to teach in the classroom environment. The teachers also reported that toileting was the most important adaptive skill. The survey also found that teachers explicitly teach adaptive skills on a daily basis. The survey also revealed that instruction might improve if access to a structured curriculum was more readily available and age appropriate. It was reported that there were very limited opportunities for educators to attend professional development about adaptive skills. These findings communicated that adaptive skills seem to be important to educators, and the lack of availability for structured curriculums should be addressed to further meet the needs of students with intellectual disabilities.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.