Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Steven Block

Second Supervisor

Ellen Gambino

Abstract

Verified improvement in the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in the past decade has involved both early interventionists and parents. It is widely acknowledged that the parent-child relationship is fundamental to the development of communication and social skills, especially for children with ASD, and accordingly that parent education is critical. However, lists of required skills and knowledge in professionally developed curricula designed for parents of children with ASD have not been prioritized by the consensus of large numbers of variously affiliated practitioners. The present research yielded wide professional agreement on the prioritization of such skills and knowledge. The instrument used was a self-evaluating, closed-ended survey administered to 483 behaviorists who treat autism. In particular, the survey identified whether a participant had a child with autism or not. The information gathered will assist in the development of a curriculum intended to guide parents in optimizing the help they can give their children with autism.

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