Knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among School Psychology Graduate Students

  • Bryn HarrisEmail author
  • Maryellen Brunson McClain
  • Sarah Schwartz
  • Cassity R. Haverkamp


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.


Autism 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).

Informed Consent

All participants provided informed consent (per the University IRB-approved process).


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Copyright information

© California Association of School Psychologists 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education and Human DevelopmentUniversity of Colorado DenverDenverUSA
  2. 2.Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human ServicesUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

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