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INCLUDING CHILDREN WITH ASD IN REGULAR KINDERGARTEN AND FIRST GRADE CLASSROOMS: TEACHER ATTITUDES, CHILD PROGRESS AND CLASSROOM QUALITY

Authors
Disciplines
  • Education
  • Medicine

Abstract

The enrollment of children with ASD in public school settings has escalated in conjunction with the increased incidence of the diagnosis (Yeargin-Allsopp et al., 2003). Characteristics associated with ASD can present unique challenges for both children and teachers in the classroom. According to many researchers, positive teacher attitudes are one of the most salient variables influencing successful inclusion of children with disabilities in regular classrooms (Bender, Vial & Scott, 1995; Buell, Hallam, Gamel-McCormick & Scheer, 1999; Chow & Winzer, 1992; Jamieson, 1984). There is less documentation of teachers’ attitudes toward inclusion when children with ASD are enrolled in general education classrooms as well as the extent to which children with autism progress in inclusive classrooms. The current research addresses contextual factors that may impact child progress in kindergarten and first grade classrooms. More specifically, the study examines placement or the amount of special education that children received, the functional skill acquisition of children with ASD, as well as associations among teacher attitudes and the quality of the inclusive classroom setting.

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