Schools and agencies that serve individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically focus on traditional teaching targets including academics, adaptive behavior, workplace competencies, as well as social and life skills. An emerging area of focus is the importance of happiness and achieving an overall quality of life (QoL) as the ultimate outcome of education and support services. Although not defined operationally, there is a belief among parents and service providers that happiness and an overall QoL is important and should be actively pursued along with the other essential traditional teaching targets. This study examined parent perspectives on indicators of QoL and happiness for individuals with ASD including whose responsibility it is to address them. The purpose of this study was to further the extant research to include information from parents regarding factors they believe are important to obtaining a QoL for their child and to determine whether parents include the happiness of their child as an important factor in an overall QoL. The research instrument consisted of a parent questionnaire that was delivered to the parent participants through an online survey. Several educational institutions and service providers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and State of New Jersey assisted in recruiting parent participants for the study by identifying interested parents of individuals (with ASD) they serve. Results from this study are expected to be useful among education professionals and service providers to gain a deeper understanding regarding the perceptions and priorities of what parents consider important QoL concerns, and the extent to which they believe these QoL concerns should be operationalized as targets for teaching and ultimately be established as goals for formal training in educational and training contexts. Understanding the importance of QoL concerns for parents should heighten attention of educators and service providers to incorporate QoL indices as targets for teaching and prioritize that teaching according to parental priorities. Understanding the priority of parental QoL concerns for their children should contribute to program design in individualized instructional goals.
|Advisor:||Mason, Jean Marie|
|Commitee:||Weiss, Mary Jane, Zane, Thomas Lee|
|School:||Gwynedd Mercy University|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Special education|
|Keywords:||Affect, Autism, Civil rights for individuals with disabilities, Happiness, Positive quality of life, Quality of life|
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