Term of Award

Spring 2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

John Weaver

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Marla Morris

Committee Member 3

Saundra Murray Nettles

Abstract

With increasing prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) being diagnosed since its inception, there is reason for significant concern in regards to the cause, treatment, and prognosis of the disorder. This work investigates some of the political, economic and social factors that impact treatment for persons identified with ASD in the context of public education. Utilizing a grounded theory approach to critically analyze current legislation and practices governing special education services in the public school setting, a disturbing picture is revealed of not only how we educate persons labeled as disordered, but also how we respond to them socially. Future implications to our society, as a result of those perceptions, are also pondered. Through an interview process, the concepts of care, social justice, personal advocacy, and fear are deliberated in respect to those identified as the ASD other.

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