Thesis Title

Parent Perceptions of ASD Learning Environments: A Qualitative Study

Graduation Date

Summer 2011

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Lisa Ray Kelly

Abstract

This study examines the educational settings of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in the context of their parents’ perceptions and satisfaction. The inconclusiveness of the current research indicates an interest in knowing how parents’ satisfaction with their students’ education is related to the educational setting of the students with ASD. The purpose of this study is to determine which educational setting results in the highest level of satisfaction for parents and the possible reasons for differences in satisfaction. In examining the literature, the following themes emerged: communication, social development, understanding, behavior management, and specialization. The researcher conducted in-depth interviews with parents of six students with ASD who are educated in different settings: inclusive and segregated, and later analyzed the content of the interviews for key themes and common attitudes. The analysis revealed strong connections between the themes that emerged in the findings and those discussed in the review of the previous literature.

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