Date of Award

9-2012

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Psychology

First Advisor

William J. Matthews

Second Advisor

John M. Hintze

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Kohler

Subject Categories

Psychiatry and Psychology

Abstract

The purpose of this study, a formative program evaluation, was to provide an overview of treatment integrity rates, attitudes, and assessment methods within a specialized school for children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The study utilized a partnership model whereby the evaluators worked collaboratively with primary stakeholders (school administrators) to determine areas of focus for the evaluation. The program evaluation was conducted between August 2009 and August 2010, spanning one school year. The evaluation participants were the school's teachers. The evaluation was based on an exploratory case study design and included both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data consisted of direct observations of treatment adherence to behavior plans in classrooms, teacher knowledge of treatment content assessed in quizzes, and observations of teacher engagement with students at recess. Qualitative data consisted of teacher surveys and focus groups. The evaluation yielded an in-depth assessment of treatment integrity within the school; an intervention to define and enhance teacher engagement during recess was also developed and implemented.

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