Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


School Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (xv, 166 pages) : illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Deborah K Kundert

Committee Members

Deborah May, Kristie Saddler


autism spectrum disorders, general education teachers, inclusion, interventions, perspectives, training, Children with autism spectrum disorders, Teachers, Inclusive education, Teacher-student relationships

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Psychology


Federal law requires that children with disabilities, including those with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), receive their education in the least restrictive environment, which frequently includes general education settings. Children with ASDs characteristically exhibit difficulties in social interaction, communication, and restricted interests. Consequently, general educators may face various challenges when teaching this population of students. Teachers’ opinions regarding the general practice of inclusion have been thoroughly researched, and they generally express positive views. The goal of the current study was to expand upon previous research about general educators’ perspectives regarding teaching students with ASDs. More specifically, this study investigated general educators’ level of knowledge and understanding of ASDs, their level of understanding and use of the available evidence-based interventions for ASDs, their perspectives of included students with ASDs, as well as their opinions about the different factors that help and hinder the education of students with ASDs in inclusion classrooms. Because this study had a limited response rate of 11.16%, the results can only be generalized to those participants who completed the survey. Based on the survey results of this study, most teachers viewed the practice of including students with ASDs positively. Regarding training, almost half of teachers in this study responded that they had not received education in ASDs or their major/associated characteristics; however, the overwhelming majority of teachers indicated that training in ASDs is critical. The current study also found that the majority of general educators had not received training in providing evidence-based interventions to students with ASDs. A significant relationship was found, however, in that teachers with a master’s degree were more likely to utilize certain evidence-based interventions for ASDs that have been identified by national research centers. This study also investigated the different factors that influence general education teachers’ perspectives of students with ASDs. Implications for the field of education were identified for both training and practice. In particular, general education teachers need ample opportunities for professional development and training through their educational programs and school districts. Additionally, they need support from other key individuals, including administrators, parents, support staff, colleagues, and school psychologists.