The number of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has grown

exponentially in recent years (Simpson, 2008). Children diagnosed with ASD have lifelong impairments in three areas: socialization, communication and behavior (AP A, 2000). These along with associated features of the disorder such as difficulties with learning, attention, affect, sensory processing, and regulating emotions and behavior can make creating an educational plan for these students particularly challenging. The current study addressed a number of research questions related to training, preparation and confidence to deliver services to students with ASD among school-based professionals. The study utilized survey-research, targeting school psychologists, speech-language pathologists, special education teachers and regular education teachers working in public schools across New York State. Results indicated that none of the participants received extensive training in ASD. Generally, all professions reported not feeling adequately trained and indicated the greatest need for additional training to be in the area of managing problem behavior. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to determine what factors, if any, would predict level of confidence in various school professionals' ability to provide services to students with ASD. Most commonly, favorable perceptions of training and more frequent access to consultation were related to higher levels of confidence. Two sets of one-way between-groups ANOVA's were also conducted to determine whether various disciplines and district settings differed significantly in their levels of confidence. Special education teachers reported higher levels of confidence in all areas of service delivery than general education teachers. Professionals did not differ in their levels of reported confidence based on district setting. Results of the current study suggest that school districts need to make a greater effort to increase in-service trainings in ASD. In addition they need to consider providing access to consultation and teaming general education teachers with a special education teacher.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Autistic children--Education; Autism spectrum disorders--Patients--Services for; Teachers of children with disabilities--Attitudes; Teachers of children with disabilities--Training of

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

School Psychology (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Psychology (CLA)


None provided


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at LC4717.8 .N67 2011


RIT – Main Campus

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