Date of Award

Fall 12-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Robyn Gordon


This study’s focus was on determining the level of knowledge K-5 educators have in one district regarding evidence-based practices that address the specific needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder [ASD]. The study also focused on determining what kind of inclusion task force had been established in the district, if any. Based on the findings of this study, all of the participating K-5 regular educators reported they have established a supportive culture/climate, have organized and defined work areas, use routines, regularly collect data, are flexible with curriculum, and group students based on needs. This study also revealed slightly over half of the K-5 educators conduct observations outside of their classrooms, maintain and shift the attention of students, and can teach attention to a task. Most of the K-5 regular educators also receive administrative support and are provided collaboration opportunities. Additional information revealed slightly less than half of the K-5 regular educators reported they can teach imitation. The data regarding the ability to teach communication and social skills were contradicting, and most educators reported an inclusion task force had not been established. Overall, it was determined K-5 regular educators need professional development in the area of core skills important for students with ASD.


Copyright 2015