Knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among School Psychology Graduate Students
- 3 Downloads
Current estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) currently impacts approximately 1 in 59 children (CDC 2018). As many children are being diagnosed with ASD or receiving an educational identification of autism during preschool and school age years, school psychologists may be the initial point of contact for families when first assessing for and receiving school-based services for ASD and must have robust knowledge on this topic. However, there is currently limited information regarding ASD knowledge among school psychologists, particularly school psychology graduate students. School psychology graduate students were given the Autism Spectrum Knowledge Scale Professional Version (ASKSP) to obtain measured ASD knowledge and were asked about their self-perceived ASD knowledge and clinical skill competencies with children and families with ASD. The results demonstrate that in general, graduate students have many self-perceived limitations regarding ASD knowledge and competencies. Although there is a positive trend towards obtaining more knowledge and self-perceived competencies over the course of the graduate program, there are multiple areas where increased training and professional development is needed. This study also demonstrates the potential utility of the ASKSP in future research and training environments.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorder Autism Spectrum Knowledge Scale Professional Version (ASKSP) School psychologists Graduate students
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
Ethical Approval Statement
Institutional review and approval of this study was completed by a University Institutional Review Board (name removed for anonymity).
All participants provided informed consent (per the University IRB-approved process).
- American Psychological Association: Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice with Children and Adolescents. (2008). Disseminating evidence-based practice for children and adolescents: a systems approach to enhancing care. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- Barned, N. E., Knapp, N. F., & Neuharth-Pritchett, S. (2011). Knowledge and attitudes of early childhood preservice teachers regarding the inclusion of children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 32(4), 302–321. https://doi.org/10.1080/10901027.2011.622235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Campbell, J. M., Ruble, L. A., & Hammond, R. K. (2014). Comprehensive developmental assessment model. In L. A. Wilkinson (Ed.), Autism spectrum disorder in children and adolescents: evidence-based assessment and intervention in schools. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Data and statistics on autism spectrum disorder. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html.
- Corkum, P., Bryson, S. E., Smith, I. M., Giffin, C., & Hume, K. (2014). Professional development needs for educators working with children with autism spectrum disorders in inclusive school environments. Exceptionality Education International, 24(1), 33–47.Google Scholar
- Corona, L. L., Christodulu, K. V., & Rinaldi, M. L. (2017). Investigation of school professionals’ self-efficacy for working with students with ASD: impact of prior experience, knowledge, and training. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 19(2), 90–101. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098300716667604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Harris, P. A., Taylor, R., Thielke, R., Payne, J., Gonzalez, N., & Conde, J. G. (2009). Research electronic data capture (REDCap): a metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 42(2), 377–381. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbi.2008.08.010.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- McClain, M.B., Harris, B., Schwartz, S. E., Haverkamp, C. R., & Golson, M. E. (2019). Development and validation of the Autism spectrum Knowledge Scale – Professional Version: Preliminary Analyses. https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/8M9UB.
- National Association of School Psychologists. (2010). Standards for graduate preparation of school psychologists. Bethesda: Author.Google Scholar
- National Association of School Psychologists. (2016). School psychologists’ involvement in assessment. Bethesda: Author.Google Scholar
- Olley, J. G., & Rosenthal, S. L. (1985). Current issues in school services for students with autism. School Psychology Review, 14(2), 166–170.Google Scholar
- Ruble, L. A., & Akshoomoff, N. (2010). Autism spectrum disorders: identification and diagnosis. Communique, 38(8), 1–4.Google Scholar
- U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). Children and youth with disabilities. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cgg.asp.
- Wilkinson, L. A. (2014). Introduction: evidence-based practice for autism spectrum disorder. In L. A. Wilkinson (Ed.), Autism spectrum disorder in children and adolescents: evidence-based assessment and intervention in schools (pp. 3–13). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Williams, K. L., Schroeder, J. L., Carvalho, C., & Cervantes, A. (2011). School personnel knowledge of autism: a pilot survey. The School Psychologist, 65(2), 7–14.Google Scholar