Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 32, Issue 4, 2011, p. 302-321
The purpose of this study was to explore preservice teachers' knowledge and attitudes towards children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their inclusion in general education classrooms, especially in early childhood education.
The participants were 15 early childhood preservice teachers at a large southeastern university who were surveyed using a modified version of the Autism Inclusion Questionnaire (Segall, 2008).
Four of these participants also engaged in subsequent in-depth interviews.
Results indicated preservice teachers lacked knowledge and held basic misconceptions about ASD and the needs of children with ASD in inclusive classrooms.
While participants wanted to learn more in this area and were generally supportive of inclusion, they had mixed attitudes about inclusion of children with more severe disabilities and their own future roles in an inclusive classroom.