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Early childhood special education teachers’ use of evidence-based practices with children with autism spectrum disorder

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Description:

Past research shows a gap between identification of evidence-based practices (EBP) for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and adoption of those EBP by classroom teachers. However, few studies have examined EBP use in preschool classrooms. Method: We surveyed 45 preschool teachers serving children with ASD regarding their intervention priorities, instructional approaches, confidence, and desire for professional development. Open-ended responses regarding instructional approaches were coded by the research team for whether they reflected use of specified identified EBP. Results: Communication, social skills, and challenging behavior were rated as the top priorities for intervention. Nearly all teachers reported using at least one EBP. The most commonly reported EBP included visual supports, behavioral strategies, and social narratives. Nearly half of teachers reported using sensory-related strategies, which are not EBP. Surprisingly, teacher confidence and belief that they were using EBP were not significantly related to desire for professional development. Conclusions: These findings provide insight into the research-to-practice gap for educating young children with ASD, and have the potential to help teacher educators refine their efforts to close this gap. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Country:
United States

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