Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


School Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (xiii, 183 pages) : illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Deborah K Kundert

Committee Members

Stacy Williams, Debi May


Asperger's syndrome in children, Youth with autism spectrum disorders, School psychologists

Subject Categories



This study examined the practices of school psychologists specific to students with Asperger's Disorder (AD). More specifically, the types of assessment and intervention techniques that were being recommended and/or implemented, how interventions were chosen, the perceived effectiveness of interventions, and possible barriers to their involvement were investigated. Additionally, the training experiences of practicing school psychologists in autism spectrum disorders were also explored. A total of 203 Nationally Certified School Psychologists (NCSPs) from around the nation completed an online survey modeled after the current research on AD. Data were analyzed using frequencies and a series of chi-square analyses. Results indicate that school psychologists utilize a variety of assessment practices within a multi-modal team approach. The most popular assessment techniques utilized included broad and narrow band measures, specifically the Behavioral Assessment System for Children-2nd Edition (BASC-2), Gilliam Autism Rating Scale-2nd Edition (GARS-2), Gilliam Asperger's Disorder Scale (GADS), and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). School psychologists also employ a variety of intervention practices with the most popular being consultation, counseling, and social stories. Interventions were most likely chosen as part of a school-based team, with review of research and techniques commonly used also considered as a part of intervention identification and selection. Generally, interventions that practitioners were familiar with and/or utilized were rated as being at least somewhat effective, and interventions that respondents were less familiar with and/or utilized were rated as being less effective. With regard to training, the majority of school psychologists reported receiving training in diagnosis and treatment of AD. Barriers to involvement included a lack of time and lack of training. Additional barriers identified via qualitative information indicated schools employing autism specialists or autism teams that handle assessment and intervention for these students. Implications for the field of school psychology include the importance of training in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) for veterans and new professionals alike, the identification of school psychologists as an untapped resource in the quest for early identification and intervention, and the need for continued research to establish a list of evidenced-based interventions (especially academic interventions) for students with AD.

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Psychology Commons