Thesis Title

Effective Strategies and Necessary Resources for Mainstreaming Autistic Students into High School

Graduation Date

Spring 2005

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Abstract

This study focused on identifying and evaluating strategies for mainstreaming students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) into high school. ASD is an increasingly popular term that refers to a broad definition of Autism, including the classical form of the disorder. Autism is viewed as a spectrum disorder, and people diagnosed with Autism are impaired to a variety of degrees in the following areas: social, communication, and behaviors/interests.

In the past decade, the number of children being diagnosed with ASD has almost tripled. Simultaneously, Congress has passed and is in the process of renewing IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), which guarantees Autistic students the right to be placed in the least restrictive educational environment possible. Although the majority of these newly diagnosed students are in the elementary grades, eventually they will be in high school, and the research on strategies for effectively mainstreaming ASD students into high school is insufficient at present.

The methodology consisted of identifying strategies, physical adaptations, and necessary areas of support for mainstreaming Autistic students into high school and then interviewing five educators about their perspectives on the effectiveness and practicality of the strategies documented in the literature. Based on the data, the outlined strategies have the potential to assist high school teachers in mainstreaming ASD students into their classes.

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