Author(s)

Sandra Griffin

Date Approved

4-22-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Kowalsky, Michelle

Subject(s)

Autism spectrum disorders;Mainstreaming in education

Disciplines

Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration

Abstract

The rising prevalence of autism spectrum disorder has resulted in more children being educated in the general education setting resulting in concern about their educational experience. School counselors as advocates, leaders, and collaborators in schools have special training and skills to educate and assist teachers design more effective and useful strategies. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to examine what secondary school counselors identified as the issues and challenges they experienced when working with students diagnosed with HFASD, the strategies they employed to assist these students, the strategies counselors utilized to collaborate with parents and teachers, and the strategies they employed to assist HFASD students in identifying strengths that can lead to careers and postsecondary education. Results indicated a need for professional development to educate teachers and school personnel on the nature of autism spectrum disorder, on the behavioral and academic challenges that are inherent with these students in the classroom and school environment, and on evidence-based strategies to assist teachers, school counselors, and educational personnel. It is recommended that knowledge about the characteristics of children with ASD and research-based interventions be integrated into the curricula of teacher training and counselor education programs.

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