Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Carla A. Peterson
Daniel J. Reschly
Educational programs for 18 elementary students with autism (12 males, 6 females) were examined. The purpose of this study was to determine the degree to which educational programs were based on student need, as well as the extent to which educational programs were reflected in daily instructional activities. Factors that affected whether or not the adaptive behavior needs of students with autism were addressed within their educational programs were also examined. Results indicated that the needs of students with autism were typically addressed within their educational programs, especially in the areas of functional academics, prevocational/vocational, and social/communication. However, independent functioning needs were only addressed for 33% of students in this study. Results also demonstrated that educational programs did not significantly affect daily instructional activities, except in the area of independent functioning. Specifically, the students with autism who were found to have their independent functioning needs addressed within their educational programs spent significantly more time engaged in independent functioning instructional activities at school than students whose independent functioning needs were not addressed. No significant differences were found in the areas of functional academics, prevocational/vocational, and social/communication. Results also indicated that a variety of factors affected whether or not the adaptive behavior needs of students with autism were addressed within their educational programs. Student need was found to be the primary reason underlying IEP team decisions to write IEP goals. When IEP teams decided not to write an IEP goal, the primary reason was that the need was being addressed in some other way, either at home or at school. Parent beliefs regarding the importance of independent functioning skills and related programming were found to be significantly related to the amount of time that students in this study were engaged in independent functioning instructional activities. Specifically, students whose parents held more positive beliefs regarding the importance of independent functioning skills spent significantly more time engaged in independent functioning instructional activities than students whose parents held less positive beliefs. No significant relationships were found in the areas functional academic skills, prevocational/vocational skills, and social/communication skills.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu
Stacy Slavens Volmer
Volmer, Stacy Slavens, "Promoting the adaptive behavior skills of students with autism: gauging educational programming and services " (2001). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 688.