Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Guillermo Montes

Second Supervisor

Susan Schultz

Abstract

Individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder experience difficulties when communicating and displaying appropriate social body language with others. Given the verbal and non-verbal communicative nature of the interview process, this research study sought to explore the employer perspective of both the negative and positive social behavioral characteristics that impact employer hiring decisions regarding young adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The study utilized a qualitative methodology along with content analysis and analytical induction to interpret participant observations of a six minute mock interview video of a young adult diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

Prior to sharing their observations, participants were not informed that the young man in the video was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The last two questions of the survey addressed autism spectrum disorder. Unexpectedly, 67% of participants would consider hiring the young man. This did not guarantee employment, yet did provide the possibility of employment. However, the participants were able to identify positive physical social behaviors that would contribute to their hiring decision. Further research regarding the implications of employer hiring decisions in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as a focus on the training and development of social skills development programs and/or workshops is needed.

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