Effect of source of information on the introduction process of a child with autism into a general education classroom
Ferguson, Jane Ellen
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This study evaluated the potential effects of different information sources on initial attitudes of typically developing peers toward a child with autism. Participants were 155 boys and 141 girls from 20 regular education classrooms ranging in age from 8 to 13 years. Information was provided from 1 of 5 sources: an actor playing portraying an outside doctor, an actor portraying a mother, an actor portraying a father, the regular education teacher, or a female voice-over on a video. Data were gathered with the Adjective Checklist (Siperstein, 1980; Siperstein & Bak, 1977) and Shared Activities Questionnaire- Short Form (Morgan, Walker, Bieberich, & Bell, 1996). Significantly different reported cognitive and conative attitudes were found across grade and context. Source is important when considering who should present information about a new child with autism to a general education classroom.