Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Katharine G. Shepherd

Second Advisor

Patricia Prelock


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) continues to receive increasing degrees of national attention in parallel with increasing rates of occurrence (Baio, 2012; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014; Rice, 2009). The disorder's growing prevalence has been accompanied by controversies regarding the source of the disorder (Baker & Stokes, 2007), how it is diagnosed (Mandell et al., 2009; Wing, Gould, & Gillberg, 2011), and what treatments are applicable and effective (National Autism Center, 2009).

This qualitative research study utilizes survey data provided by Special Education Directors to explore the question of what types of treatments are implemented and supported by school districts for students with an ASD in Vermont. This exploration is provided in order to help develop an understanding of the degree to which research-based interventions are being supported by special education administrators throughout the state.

Data analysis consisted of a process of content analysis utilizing coding and cross-case analysis to identify themes such as: the gap between education, experience, literature, and practice; the role of data in intervention and treatment design; and the role that professional development, staffing, and available resources play in ASD treatment. By exploring available research regarding the clinical effectiveness of various treatments and by analyzing survey data, this study identifies areas of strength and challenge conveyed in participants' responses, and makes suggestions regarding potential areas of future growth.



Number of Pages

142 p.