Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

8-2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Chad A. Becker, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Marilyn Lewis, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Brianna Parsons, Ed.D.

Keywords

high functioning autism (HFA), individualized education program (IEP), technology, educators, integration, interventions

Abstract

There is a phenomenon that exists within the Maryland State Public School System regarding technology integration within intervention strategies for students with high functioning autism (HFA). Educators have attested that there is minimally available technology for consistent use when working with their students during intervention strategies and services. Thus, when stakeholders understand the actual experiences of the professionals that work with students that have HFA on a daily basis, positive reform may occur at the immediate level by administrators within school buildings. The purpose of this study was to examine how general and special educators experienced technology use during interventions that they provided to their students with HFA. There were two main research questions: How do general and special educators describe their experiences using technology during interventions for students with HFA? What factors are IEP team committee members considering when they decide to include or refrain from adding technology accommodations within an IEP for students with HFA? The instrumentation utilized in this study was a set of open-ended questions conducted in an interview format. After careful analysis of the data collected, six main themes were detected connected to the conceptual framework of educational equity, persuasive technology, and theory of mind. The necessity of serious funding reform for technology within this particular county are the implications for future practices in the Maryland State public school system. Provision of technology including electronic devices, adequate professional development, and increased funding will equalize educational access for disabled students with HFA.

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