Inclusion of students with autism spectrum disorder
Segall, Matthew Joel
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The education of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is a challenging issue for public schools. Due to legal and educational reasons, many children with ASD are included in the general education setting for all or portions of the school day. Thus, it is essential to understand the current practices used to support inclusive education and factors related to the implementation of classroom strategies and interventions. A new measure, the Autism Inclusion Questionnaire, is proposed to assess the constructs of experience, knowledge, attitudes towards inclusion, and classroom practices as they relate to ASD. Results indicate that education professionals (N = 47) report generally positive attitudes; however, educators demonstrate important misconceptions and lack of knowledge regarding ASD. Further, a significant relationship was found between knowledge of ASD and awareness of potential classroom strategies for inclusion, whereas attitudes and awareness of strategies were unrelated. Practical implications and future research directions are discussed.