Leadership implications for teaching children with autism spectrum disorders in the general education classroom
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The purpose of this study was to gather information on experiences of regular education teachers concerning inclusion practices for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Three research questions were addressed in the study. The first research question identified experiences of regular education teachers in the areas of preservice preparation related to inclusion of student with ASD. The second research question identified professional development experiences of regular education teachers in the areas of teaching strategies and collaboration pertaining to inclusion of students with ASD. Finally, the third research question identified levels of efficacy experienced by regular education teachers in teaching students with ASD. Quantitative data were collected through the Autism Needs Assessment Survey-Revised (ANAS-R). Third, fourth, and fifth grade educators at Logan-Rogersville R-VIII School District in Southwest Missouri completed the survey. The study found the participants had minimal experience in preservice preparation with a lack of background knowledge on ASD. Knowledge of teaching strategies and experiences in collaboration were also found to be few. Finally, teacher efficacy was measured through the perceptions of preparedness, confidence, and effectiveness in educating children with ASD. Participants felt low efficacy levels in these areas. An eagerness to increase training for educating children with ASD was widespread.