Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Autism Education and Early Intervention: What Experts Recommend and How Parents and Public Schools Provi
by Reffert, Lori A., D.Ed., The University of Toledo, 2008, 140; 10631230
Abstract (Summary)

Autism is a lifetime neurobiological disorder that is not curable. Children are being diagnosed with this affliction at an alarming rate, which is greatly affecting and overwhelming both families and school districts. The National Research Council recommends 25 hours a week, year around of one-on-one or small group early intervention as the key to overcoming many of autism's limitations.

This research compared what rural, suburban, and urban school districts in the Midwest states of Michigan and Ohio do to meet these recommendations. Additionally, parental input was obtained regarding their children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and what services are received from both the school district and private sector.

The main findings of the research indicate that school districts are not following the recommendations set forth by the National Research Council's 2001 study, Educating Children with Autism. Intervention programs are severly lacking in the states of Michigan and Ohio as school districts are either not knowledgeable about what constitutes best practice regarding children with ASD, or do not have the resources necessary to implement these best practices.

Intervention based on ABA principles is shown to help change the core symptoms of autism, and it should be a sound and logical addition to a school district's early intervention program. According to results obtained from this research study, a full 50% of the 74 school districts that responded indicated they used an intervention program that was not Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Discrete Trial Training (DTT), TEAACH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children) or Floor Time.

Additionally, of the 35 parents that responded to the research survey, 62.9% indicated that their child's school did not use ABA, DTT, TEACCH or Floor Time as the program used for intervention. Furthermore, 57.1% (20) of the 35 parents that responded indicated that their child received ABA or DTT not provided by the school.

Understandably, the cost associated with small group intervention is expensive. Many school districts balk at one-on-one instruction and do not take into consideration that by utilizing an early intense behavioral intervention (EIBI), later education costs can be reduced.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Roettger, Caroline
Commitee: McKinley, Sandra, Roettger, Caroline, Roettger, Lloyd, Russell, Raymond
School: The University of Toledo
Department: Educational Administration and Supervision
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Speech therapy, Education, Elementary education, Special education, Teacher education, Educational administration
Keywords: ASD, Autism, Autism and public schools, Autism and services, Autism early education, Autism early intervention
Publication Number: 10631230
ISBN: 978-0-355-01505-8
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