Document Type

Special Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education


Professional Studies


Special Education

First Advisor

Jane M. Leatherman, PhD

Committee Members

Jane M. Leatherman, PhD, Chair, Jeong-il Cho, PhD, Rama Cousik, PhD

Date of Award



Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing disability in the United States. Each day more children are being diagnosed somewhere on the spectrum ranging from autism to Asperger's Syndrome and from low functioning to high functioning. This rapid increase in children being diagnosed has had an enormous impact on elementary schools, especially how classroom teachers include students with an ASD. This teacher needs assessment study showed that general education classroom teachers are not prepared to educate a student with an ASD in the classroom. This study determined what knowledge deficits exist for teachers about ASDs and what training and professional development is necessary for teachers to effectively include students with an ASD in the classroom.


Special Education and Teaching