The Influence of Classroom Placement, Child, Parent and Teacher Characteristics on Child Outcomes in ASD
The purpose of the study is to identify the patterns and predictors of literacy and social skill acquisition during the transition to formal schooling in a sample of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current research base indicates that individuals with ASD show limited growth in social-adaptive behaviors and may experience difficulties with aspects of reading comprehension and decoding. Results indicated that children with ASD in general education had higher levels of language ability, IQ and social skills than their peers placed in special education. However, special education teachers reported receiving significantly more ASD related training and felt more confident in their ability to teach this population. In regards to academic and social outcomes, child language level and behavioral challenges proved to be the most significant predictors of success at the beginning of the school year. Despite the fact that little change occurred between child performance on outcome measures from the beginning to the end of the school year, teacher characteristics, such as ASD training and management strategies, emerged as significant predictors of child success by the end of the school year. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.