LC Journal of Special Education


Following the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act in 2004 and its emphasis on inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education setting, students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are increasingly taught in general education classrooms (Leblanc, Richardson, & Burns, 2009; Simpson, Boer-Ott, & Smith-Myles, 2003). Data from the Annual Report to Congress on Implementation of IDEA (U.S. Department of Education, 2010) indicated that almost 90% of students with autism in public schools in the United States receive their education in general education classrooms for some part of the school day. Yet, both general education and special education resource teachers report feeling inadequate to meet the needs of students with ASD in an inclusive environment (Dimitriosa & Pangiota, 2005; Naylor, 2002). Although teachers tend to support the idea of inclusion, a study by Scruggs and Mastropieri (1996) found that almost one third of general education teachers believed they did not possess the necessary skills and training to be successful in educating students with special needs. In fact, a number of studies have revealed the lack of training required to address the needs of students with disabilities in teacher preparation programs for general education teachers (Ivey & Reinke, 2002; Leblanc, Richardson, & Burns, 2009; Stainback & Stainback, 1984). Especially in regards to students with ASD, research has emphasized the need for adequate preparation for all preservice teachers (Jennett, Harris, & Mesibov, 2003). The purpose of this paper is to call attention to the need for systematic research on academic interventions for students diagnosed with ASD.