Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2020

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction

Department

Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Michael Coquyt

Keywords

ASD, autism, opinion based, survey research, public opinion, professional opinion

Abstract

The research conducted for this project answered the question: what are the public’s perceptions about ASD and its rising rates and how do these compare to the perceptions of professionals providing services to children with ASD? The participants of this research study were both male and female of a non-specific age group that work with children diagnosed with ASD, and those who have no contact with children diagnosed with ASD. 49.5% of survey respondents were professionals that have contact with students with ASD and 50.5% of respondents were those who have no contact with children diagnosed with ASD.The majority of both professionals and the general public believed that it is because of more awareness, knowledge, research, and early intervention, which aligns with what I found in my research. There isn’t necessarily a growing number of people with ASD, but there is a growing number of diagnoses because we can now better identify it. 17% of the general public still believe ASD is caused by environmental factors. Some listed by respondents were food additives, medications, vaccines, and parenting techniques.

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