Purpose. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore, from the parents’ perspective, the learning experiences of their children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during high school. It further examined, from the parents’ perspective, the development of their child’s self-efficacy as well as employment outcomes after graduation.
Methodology. A case study design, using semistructured interviews, was used to answer the following central research question: “From the parents’ perspective, what are the learning experiences of their children with autism spectrum disorder during high school, and how do they affect the development of their child’s self-efficacy and employment outcomes after graduation?” The researcher used a purposeful sampling approach using a combination of criterion and snowball sampling strategies to interview five participants, parents of individuals with ASD who graduated high school within the last 5 years in Utah. Semistructured interviews included eight open-ended questions.
Findings. Five parents of young adults with ASD discussed their perspectives of their child’s high school learning experiences, self-efficacy, and employment outcomes. From the interviews, three major themes emerged. The three themes were (a) the importance of social experiences, (b) the impact of high school experiences on self-determination and self-efficacy, and (c) perceptions of the high school experience.
Conclusions. The findings support the importance of learning skills to navigate social situations is often overlooked for ASD students who characteristically have difficulty with communication and social interactions. In addition, an ASD student’s long-term self-determination and self-efficacy are influenced by the culture of the school and the quality of academic situations and social interactions students are exposed to and have experienced in high school. Furthermore, ASD students and their families are not receiving adequate support and services to ensure successful employment outcomes.
Recommendations. This research study adds to the field of education, specifically for students with ASD. Future studies should be conducted utilizing different research methodology to quantify the data. In addition, this study could be replicated, increasing the population size or changing the geographic location to allow for a more diverse population or to focus the research on a county or large school district. Furthermore, future research should consider cumulative research on the development of self-efficacy beginning in elementary school and carrying through high school graduation. Future studies should consider the point of view of students, parent, teachers, or other school personnel.
|Commitee:||Metheny, Patty, Petersen, Tina|
|School:||University of La Verne|
|Department:||LaFetra College of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Special education, Disability studies, Educational leadership|
|Keywords:||Autism Spectrum Disorder, Employment outcomes, High School, Parent perspective, Self-efficacy|
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