An examination of early childhood teachers’ experiences and perceptions regarding evidence based practices used to improve functional communication skills of young children with Autism spectrum disorder

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Khulod Saleh Alamer (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Belinda Hardin

Abstract: The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine early childhood education (ECE) teachers’ perceptions and experiences using 13 evidence-based practices (EBPs) deemed appropriate by the research literature for improving the functional communication skills of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in inclusive classroom settings. This study used the constructivist theory of learning to better understand the research to practice gap between these 13 EBPs and what teachers are actually doing in their inclusive ECE classrooms to improve the outcomes of children with ASD. The participants were 65 licensed ECE teachers with experience working with young children with ASD in inclusive classrooms across the state of North Carolina. The study consisted of two phases. In Phase I, quantitative data were collected using an online survey from all participants. In Phase II, qualitative data were collected from a subset of six participants thorough interviews. Descriptive statistics and correlation analyses were used to examine quantitative data while a deductive thematic approach was used to analyze qualitative data. The results revealed a strong relationship between teachers’ personal beliefs about the effectiveness of EBPs and their knowledge. The study also confirmed that teachers generally held positive perspectives about EBPs and felt that all 13 EBPs could potentially be effective, but only if adequate training, resources, and supports are provided. Recommendations for future research and practice are provided based on study findings.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Autism Spectrum Disorder, Early childhood teachers, Evidence-based practices, Functional communication skills, Inclusive setting
Children with autism spectrum disorders $x Education (Early childhood) $z North Carolina
Early childhood teachers $z North Carolina $x Attitudes
Inclusive education $z North Carolina

Email this document to