Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology
Jessica Glass-Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D, Chairperson
Yuma Tomes, PhD, ABA
Nina Burleigh, PhD
This study explored teachers’ knowledge of the causes, characteristics, assessment, and treatments of autism spectrum disorder. This study also examined teachers’ experiences and perceptions of the causality of the disorder. Research questions included whether special-education teachers possessed more accurate knowledge of the disorder and if experience (professional and/or personal) with autism led to more internal causes of autism spectrum disorder. One hundred seventy-two educators who self-identified as a general educator, special educator, paraprofessional, or academic specialist completed a 24-question survey pertaining to the topic. Results showed that, although special educators scored significantly higher on their knowledge questions as compared to the other three roles, general scores were low in terms of the participants’ knowledge about the disorder. In terms of causality, no relationship was found between experience, training level, and perception of causality of autism spectrum disorder. School psychologists and other related service providers should consider collaborating to create a professional development and training for staff in their schools to address the lack of knowledge and help aid in the understanding of characteristics and interventions.
Jones, Nicole, "Teachers' Perceptions of Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Analysis of the Relationship Among Teachers' Knowledge, Exposure, and Attitudes" (2015). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 350.