Although research-based interventions for young students with Autism Spectrum Disorders exist and are supported in the literature, early intervention teachers in public schools often lack knowledge and training in the adoption and proper use of these effective-intervention interventions. The purpose of this study was to investigate current interventions and professional development interests of early childhood special education teachers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Minnesota. This study employed a descriptive methodology utilizing an online, web-based survey to gather information from four separate groups representing all regions in the state: early childhood special education teachers, early childhood special education coordinators, special education directors, and regional autism consultants.
Results indicate that research-based interventions for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are implemented at a low level of frequency across the state. The top rated past learning methods that had supported early childhood special education teachers in their knowledge of research-based interventions were identified as: experience in the classroom with other ASD students, experience with other children with disabilities, and workshops/inservices. The top rated future learning methods to advance knowledge of ASD interventions were: learning with other colleagues, workshops/inservices, and mentoring by autism teachers. Leading barriers found to prevent early intervention teachers in accessing training in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders were found to be: inability to take time away from the classroom, cost of training, and shortage of training funds.
Keywords: early intervention, Autism Spectrum Disorders, research-based interventions, research-based interventions, professional development.
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. June 2010. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Jennifer York-Barr, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 156 pages, appendices A-G.
Balbo, Maria L..
A study of current interventions and professional development interests of teachers of early childhood special education for children with autism spectrum disorders..
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