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ERIC Number: ED528544
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 208
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-6780-9
Investigation of the Characteristics of Students Classified under Autism and Their Educational Services
Dekeyzer, Lori Lynn
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Utah
With passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 1990, autism was recognized as a distinct special education category. Subsequently, there has been a steady increase in the number of students qualified in the schools to receive special education services under this category. There are a number of questions as to the types of services that students classified under autism have been receiving and to the amount of services required in order to meet their educational needs. Given how critical it is to provide effective intensive interventions to students with autism spectrum disorder, research is warranted to examine current educational practices as they pertain to this student population. Data from 143 students (114 males and 29 females) receiving special education services under the classification of autism were analyzed. The students were enrolled in a large urban/suburban school district in Utah. The data were gathered on-site from 30 elementary schools, 12 middle schools, 4 high schools, and 2 special schools. An examination of four age groups (i.e., 6 to 8 years, 9 to 11 years, 12 to 14 years, and 15 to 17.11 years) was conducted to determine what differences may exist across measures of IQ, academic achievement, language, adaptive functioning, social functioning, and behavioral functioning. A comparison of the four age groups indicated that although language deficits persisted in the older students, they received fewer language services. Differences were also found among the age groups in terms of increased symptoms of depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, and aggression. Scores from parent ratings of these symptoms increased in a linear fashion from the younger age groups to the older age groups. Behaviors of depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity were found to be negatively correlated with special education and related services, suggesting that students with higher levels of the above-mentioned behaviors receive less special education services. The relationship among relevant psychological factors, the type and amount of special education services, and standardized measures at the state and national level were also analyzed. This study highlights the fact that there is a continued need to better match the type and amount of educational services to the needs of students who receive services under the educational classification of autism. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act